Data, Attention and Control in the Twenty-First Century
Interrogates the digital dissolution of established relationships between elite actors—militaries, governments, journalists—and war’s audiences, victims and bystanders.
This book examines the digital explosion that has ripped across the battlefield, weaponising our attention and making everyone a participant in wars without end.
‘Smart’ devices, apps, archives and algorithms remove the bystander from war, collapsing the distinctions between audience and actor, soldier and civilian, media and weapon. This has ruptured our capacity to make sense of war. Now we are all either victims or perpetrators.
In Radical War, Ford and Hoskins reveal how contemporary war is legitimised, planned, fought, experienced, remembered and forgotten in a continuous and connected way, through digitally saturated fields of perception.
Plotting the emerging relationship between data, attention and the power to control war, the authors chart the complex digital and human interdependencies that sustain political violence today. Through a unique, interdisciplinary lens, they map our disjointed experiences of conflict and illuminate this dystopian new ecology of war.
Matthew Ford is Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Sussex; founding editor of the British Journal for Military History; and author of Weapon of Choice.
Andrew Hoskins is Professor of Global Security, University of Glasgow; and founding editor of the journals Digital War; Memory, Mind & Media; and Memory Studies.