Show Summary Details
Strategy in the Contemporary World

Strategy in the Contemporary World (6th edn)

John Baylis, James Wirtz, and Colin Gray
Page of

Printed from Oxford Politics Trove. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 December 2023

p. 363. The Evolution of Modern Warfarelocked

p. 363. The Evolution of Modern Warfarelocked

  • Michael Sheehan


This chapter examines how the theory and practice of war has evolved over the past two centuries. It first provides an overview of modern warfare and the transformation in the way that wars are fought. In particular, it charts the decline of limited warfare and considers the ideas of Prussian career soldier Carl von Clausewitz, along with the emergence of the Napoleonic way of war and the legacy of Napoleon Bonaparte with regard to strategy. It then discusses the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the planning for and conduct of war, focusing on the ways that weapons technology transformed both strategy and tactics. It also explores the evolution of naval warfare, how nuclear weapons ended the era of total war, and the rise of revolutionary warfare. Finally, it reflects on how the transition to postmodernity can influence war as a politico-cultural institution.

You do not currently have access to this chapter

Sign in

Please sign in to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription