The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies

Living Edition
| Editors: Scott Romaniuk, Manish Thapa, Péter Marton

Strategic Culture

  • Aaron D. DildayEmail author
Living reference work entry


Strategy and culture are equally complex concepts, and much debate centers around how to define them. Strategy often refers to planning for how to utilize the means of national power (most often focusing on military power) in order to achieve political ends. Culture, succinctly put, studies common ideas, attitudes, and characteristics across large populations. Bridging the two into strategic culture focuses on applying trends for how groups operate strategically. In the various fields that analyze international affairs, discussion of strategic culture tends to coalesce around the study of common ideas across large populations like nations and civilizations, and the term way of warhas become the buzzword in the field. Though strategic culture has been studied since at least the 1970s, renewed debate arose among historians in the 1990s over how peoples fight wars, and that debate continues to the present day. Yet, while the obsession with the cultural aspects of military...


Strategy Culture Way of war Grand strategy Military conflict 
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Further Reading

  1. Baylis, J., Wirtz, J. J., & Gray, C. S. (Eds.). (2016). Strategy in the contemporary world. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Palo Alto CollegeSan AntonioUSA