War and Social Distress

Images of the Enemy
  • Robert W. Rieber
Part of the Path in Psychology book series (PATH)


Though it is possible to think of war in terms of purely objective aims, as the continuation of diplomacy by other means, as Clausewitz’s famous phrase has it, “War is inconceivable without a clearly defined image of the enemy.” States at war may justify their strategic interests with rationales derived from current social and historical conditions. But the sheer aggressiveness of war, the use of unlimited force in the pursuit of those strategic objectives, both requires and engenders a deep-seated sense of enmity between participants. A battlefield without enemies cannot exist.1


Emotional Contagion American Foreign Policy Social Distress Community Feeling Death Instinct 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Rieber
    • 1
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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