Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

How Western Soldiers Fight
Organizational Routines in Multinational Missions

$99.99 (C)

  • Author: Cornelius Friesendorf, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)
  • Date Published: June 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108429108

$ 99.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • In contemporary missions, soldiers often face unconventional opponents rather than enemy armies. How do Western soldiers deal with war criminals, rioters, or insurgents? What explains differences in behavior across military organizations in multinational missions? How does military conduct impact local populations? Comparing troops from the United States, Britain, Germany, and Italy at three sites of intervention (Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan), this book shows that militaries in the field apply idiosyncratic organizational routines. Friesendorf uses the concept of routines to explain, for example, why US soldiers are trigger-happy, why British soldiers patrol on foot, and why German soldiers avoid risk. Despite convergence in military structures and practices, militaries continue to fight differently, often with much autonomy. This bottom-up perspective focuses on different routines at the level of operations and tactics, thus contributing to a better understanding of the implementation of military missions, and highlighting failures of Western militaries to protect civilians.

    • Introduces the concept of routines to the study of multinational military missions
    • Analyzes the impact of military missions on local populations
    • Compares the use of force at an operational/ tactical level by the US Army, the British Army, the German Army, and the Italian Carabinieri in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Why are some militaries better at policing, peace operations and counterinsurgency than others? Looking at how the Americans, British and Germans fared in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, Cornelius Friesendorf finds that the answer lies in routines which embody each army's biases and practices. This outstanding book exemplifies the importance of organisational analysis in security studies.' Theo Farrell, Executive Dean of Law, Humanities and the Arts, University of Wollongong, Australia

    ‘This book is a superb example of why we need more micro-level, ‘bottom up' analysis in the study of international relations. As Friesendorf persuasively demonstrates in his study of western interventions in war-torn countries, governmental agencies implementing policy - in this case militaries - are not merely tools of grand strategists in distant capitals and headquarters but have agency themselves, and their routine everyday practices should therefore be placed more front and center in our analysis. Only with this type of ground-level work can international relations scholars ‘see' the important nuances that are otherwise missed from the armchair grand-theorizing that defines so much of the field.' Peter Andreas, John Hay Professor of Political Science and International Studies, Brown University, Rhode Island

    ‘Anyone wondering why the US Army applied warfighting templates to multinational missions in the Balkans and Afghanistan whereas British soldiers patrolled on foot, Germans stayed inside their camps and Italians prioritized crime-fighting should read this book. Unlike most accounts of military interventions, How Western Soldiers Fight uses micro-level routines and behaviour patterns to reveal what really shapes missions.' Alice Hills, Durham University

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108429108
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 3 maps 8 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Soldiers and unconventional problems
    3. Potential explanations of military behavior
    4. Organizational routines
    5. How military routines evolved
    6. Bosnia-Herzegovina
    7. Kosovo
    8. Afghanistan
    9. Conclusion

  • Author

    Cornelius Friesendorf, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH)
    Cornelius Friesendorf is a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH). Previous activities include working for an EU police reform support project in Myanmar, and teaching International Relations at Goethe University Frankfurt. He has published on security sector reform, counter-insurgency, organized crime, and privatized security.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.