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This presentation will explore some of the findings from a long-term ethnographic study about the UK military presence on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.

This large military training area was purchased by government order at the end of the 19th Century as part of efforts to reorganise the British army and support it in its task of defending the empire. Since 2010, in the wake of the unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the financial crash, this area has been transformed into one of the UK’s supergarrison areas, purportedly to consolidate the military presence in the UK and globally.

Working in a team of five we sought to examine the impact of these policy changes and think about what is at stake for us all in maintaining such a large public institution in contemporary Britain.

A critical analysis of the army’s place in society raises a number of important questions. These concern the connections between militarism and gendered and racialised power dynamics; the ways in which Britain’s contemporary ambitions to be a global power link back to imperialism; and the question of what wider society owes the military in the context of the great recession and ongoing decimation of the welfare state.

About the speaker:

Antonia Dawes is a lecturer in the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London. Her work considers questions of race and racialisation, postcolonialism, and militarisation.

At this event

Antonia Dawes

Lecturer in Social Justice

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