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Title: Politicization beyond politics: Narratives and mechanisms of Iraq War veterans’ activism

Author: Flores, David;

Date: 2016

Source: Armed Forces and Society. doi: 10.1177/0095327X16642041.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)


There is growing interest in the implications of military service for the political attitudes, behaviors, and activism of military veterans. This article considers how promission and antiwar veterans’ narrate their experiences of becoming political activists and the mechanisms that effect that transition. The research draws on narratives from 40 members of the antiwar organization Iraq Veterans against the War and 28 members of the promission organization Vets for Freedom. Using ‘‘exemplars’’ from opposing political groups, the article reveals the shared process of politicization for both groups of veterans, and how divergent promission and antiwar definitions of duty, service, patriotism, and narratives of experiences and interpretations of warfare activate meaning-making activities, mechanisms, and analytical frames that share more in common than surface political differences might suggest.

Keywords: Iraq War veterans, political attitudes, narrative, activism, war

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Flores, David. 2016. Politicization beyond politics: Narratives and mechanisms of Iraq War veterans’ activism. Armed Forces and Society. doi: 10.1177/0095327X16642041.


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