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The Elephant in the Room: Critical Reflections on Militarism, War, and Their Health Contingencies

Sr, Sharon McGuire OP, PhD, FNP-BC; Boyle, Joyceen PhD, RN, FAAN

Advances in Nursing Science:
doi: 10.1097/01.ANS.0000319563.61137.ef

This philosophical analysis critically explores an archeology of militarism as an underpinning to multiple forms of violence, especially war. Deconstructing militarism and its discourses reveal it as a pervasive geographical, cultural, political, and psychological presence. New war technologies, related health and environmental problems, injuries, social suffering, and disproportionality in military spending as a threat to health are uncovered. Continuing the dialogue in formal nursing associations, critiquing media complicity in securing consent for war, and reconstructing a nonviolent, healthier world through nonviolent resistance are advocated.

Author Information

Adrian Dominican Sisters Campus, Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan (Dr McGuire); and University of Arizona, Tucson (Dr Boyle).

Corresponding Author: Sharon McGuire Sr, OP, PhD, FNP-BC, Adrian Dominican Sisters Campus, Siena Heights University, 1247 E Siena Heights Dr, Adrian, MI 49221 (;

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.