Aims and scope

Aims: A scholarly journal about war studies

Close Encounters in War is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal aimed at investigating war as a human experience through interdisciplinary approaches ranging from the Humanities to the Social Sciences.

War is a cultural phenomenon which at the beginning of the third millennium represents both an urgent issue that could potentially put the survival of humanity at stake, and also one of the most ancient and deeply rooted aspects of human cultural evolution. It is therefore fundamental to investigate the meaning of wars and conflicts for our civilizations, by reflecting on our experiences as human beings.

Humans go to war not only to achieve practical advantages such as the control of a territory, as other species do. War is a cultural phenomenon as well. In human beings it triggers the dangerous impulse to kill one’s own kin in a confrontation that is fundamentally based on the use of weapons as tools invented to harm lethally, and this complexity is what makes war so important to study as a multifaceted experience in which culture is crucial and it combines with instincts, passions, emotions and behavioural patterns. Thus, war is deeply intertwined with language and with the human ability to represent concepts aesthetically by projecting their images from one conceptual domain to another.

The concept of “encounter” is therefore fundamental as it involves experience, and as a consequence it implies the idea that the fact of encountering war shapes and develops our minds and affects our behaviour, questioning habits and values, prejudices and views of the world. Obviously, not all encounters are the same. Fighting as a combatant is not the same as witnessing as a bystander, which in turn is different than reading war-memoirs or watching war movies as a civilian in the safety of one’s living room. Nonetheless all these experiences are connected and comparable: each encounter with war, whatever its form, triggers an emotional response, which also means cultural elaboration and ethical reflection.

The aim of Close Encounters in War is thus to discuss both encounters with war and within war, including but not limited to military strategy and cultural representations, and it seeks to promote a genuinely interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary debate by welcoming contributions from specialists (leading scholars, early career and independent researchers) from different disciplinary areas.

The Editors of Close Encounters in War welcome contributions from authors from a range of disciplines, including but not limited to history, literary studies, international affairs, philosophy, sociology, political science, anthropology, medicine, statistics, psychology and the bio-sciences.



  • War as a human experience
  • Encounters with war or within war
  • Historical scope: wars and conflicts from ancient history to the 21st century
  • Geographical scope: wars and conflicts across global geographical and cultural areas
  • Comparative, interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to war studies
  • Independent research welcome

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Normandy landings

Troups marching in France

General Bernard Montgomery

Pilots in World War II