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[ecrea] Call for submissions - Theme issue on:“War and communicational innovation: 2000-2017”.

Sun Mar 11 21:32:12 GMT 2018

Call for submissions

/Signes, Discours et Société /Review, n°20, 2018. Theme issue on:“War and communicational innovation: 2000-2017”.

The development of modern communication is linked to the history of armed conflicts in the 20th century. Its engineering devices have been used to compel civilians into war effort, or to persuade soldiers to take part in the fight. Communicational techniques have therefore initially been conceived and enhanced under regimes in war exception state, before being re-employed as means of social control in times of peace (Mattelart, 1992, 2007). This thematic issue of /Signes, discours et société /seeks to analyse communicational innovation sprung from war laboratories since the beginning of the 2000s. Against optimistic views that, in the 1990s, considered that the grounding of an “information society” (Breton, 1997) could possibly lead to perpetual peace, contemporary history shows not only that wars endure, but that techniques aiming at “consent producing” are still experimented. Acknowledging the evolution of informational devices and uses since the 21^st century and considering the internationalisation of “counter-terrorism” politics and the evolution of conflicts since the “Arab spring” uprisings, the authors are invited to propose a contribution according to one of the following research lines.

*1)**Negotiating the meaning of conflicts online*

The use of online platforms (digital social networks, Youtube) enables war-makers and their supporters to give armed conflicts a visibility, but also to engage in discussions on their ongoing. Web users thus threaten the traditional control and its logic of secrecy with which political authorities handle war communication. Considering the development of online spaces for the discussion and representation of conflicts, how do armies strive to negotiate the meaning of warfare? To what extent, both theoretically and in terms of practice, does the circulation of war representations on the Internet reconfigure the informational strategies between war-makers?


*2)**Justifying war to external audiences*

Official external communication from the states is historically linked to war issues. Governments, through transnational medias, aim at foreign audiences, either for justifying the use of “legitimate” violence, either to jeopardize the enemy’s moral support. From this point of view, the focus will be on the emergence of new devices for international communication (digital, radio, televisual) to export warfare or, on the contrary, contain the incoming flow of information from the enemy. How have governments and states, since the beginning of the 2000s, reorganised their international communication in order to convince foreign audiences of the rightfulness of their military engagement? What do they apply, on the other hand, both on technical and legal grounds, so as to “secure” their national reception spaces?

*3)**Digitizing the moral component of war*

Since 2005, computational social sciences are more systematically used by the main Anglo-Saxon military powers in order to analyse the societies involved in the conflicts. Big data and computer algorithms allow to model the behaviour of civil populations and to chart networks of fighters. Feelings, values and emotions are thus included in the digital encoding of war’s moral dimensions. These computing tools then guide the armies in their battleground operations and make the conception of precisely shaped communicational strategies possible. Acknowledging this “human field digitisation”, the evolution of cognitive and informational systems used by armies as guidance tools within populations will be inquired into. How have connected computing and computational sciences been used by armies since the beginning of the 2000s? To what extent does their use modify the projections, the forecast and the conduct of armed conflicts?

*4)**From warfare to social control*

War-born informational and communicational innovations, among which stand information technologies (i.e. GPS tracking) as well as “consent engineering”, are reused in times of peace. Considering this conversion, the implementation, in times of peace, of technologies meant for social control, created and enhanced during wartime, will be looked into. This conversion can be examined, for instance, considering the states of permanent emergency decreed in the wake of counter-terrorism security policies. Since the 2000s, what logics have been driving the reconversion of war-born and war-experimented information technologies? How does the continuum between internal and external security allows to implement and justify governmentality devices?


*Indicative bibliography*

Boëx (Cécile), « La vidéo comme outil de l’action collective et de la lutte armée », in Burgat (François), Paoli (Bruno), dir., /Pas de printemps pour la Syrie/, La découverte, 2013, pp. 172-184.

Breton (Philippe), /L’utopie de la communication/. La découverte, 1997.

Chamayou (Grégoire), /Théorie du drone/, La Fabrique Éditions, 2013.

Charon (Jean-Marie), Mercier (Arnaud), coord., /Armes de communication massives. Informations de guerre en Irak : 1991-2003/, CNRS Éd., 2004.

Gonzales (Roberto J.), /Militarizing the culture. Essays on the warfare state/. Left coast press, 2010.

Couteau-Bégarie (Hervé), dir., /Les médias et la guerre/, Paris Economica, 2005.

Kempf (Olivier), /Alliances et mésalliances dans le cyberespace/. Economica, 2014.

Koch (Olivier), « De la géopolitique de l’information télévisuelle à la géopolitique des réseaux », /in/ Koch (Olivier), Mattelart (Tristan), dir., /Géopolitique des télévisions transnationales /d/’information/. Mare& Martin, coll. Media critic, 2016, pp. 247-266.

Mattelart (Armand), /La communication-monde/. La découverte, 1992.

Mattelart (Armand), /La globalisation de la surveillance/. La découverte, 2007.

Mattelart (Tristan), /Le cheval de Troie audiovisuel/. PUG, 2013.

Sage (Michel), « Les militaires dans l’espace public numérique », /in/ Letonturier (Eric), dir., « Guerres, Armées et Communication ». /Hermés/, CNRS éditions, 2017, pp. 115-130.

*Submission guidelines*

The /Signes, discours et société/ Review calls for recent analyzes and original contributions on the issues mentioned above. Proposals in french or in english (3000 signs spaces not included) indicating problematic and methodology should be sent to Olivier Koch by 15th of April 2018. Address: (koches1 /at/ <mailto:(koches1 /at/>



Submission of abstracts: 15th of April, 2018.

Notification to authors about acceptance: 7th May, 2018.

Final article submission: 30th of August 2018.

Publication : 30th of October, 2018.

*Scientific committee*

Michel Bourse, Galatasaray University.

David Douyère, Tours University.

Tristan Mattelart, Paris II University.

Arnaud Mercier, Paris II University.

Pierre Mœglin, Paris XIII University.

Jacques Walter, Lorraine University.


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