Imagination warfare: targeting youths on the everyday battlefields of the 21st century

Henry A. Giroux, Brad Evans

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Working on from the understanding that youths have become a notable, if under-theorized object for power and violence in the everyday battlefields of the twenty-first century, this paper offers a rethinking of the politics of violence in the contemporary period. Moving beyond conventional understandings of the violence that neatly map it out in terms of civilization versus barbarity, it is our contention that both sides to the conflict have effectively created a Gordian knot through which the recourse to violence reigns supreme. Indeed, once we recognize that the conflicts of today are fought over the site of imagination itself, so there is a need to offer a fundamental rethink if we are to break the cycle of violence, and ensure that our collective futures are not violently fated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-246
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Identities
Issue number3
Early online date9 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016


  • ISIS
  • Violence
  • war on terror; political imagination
  • war on youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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