This chapter sets out in broad terms how militarism has been conceptualised, both by anti-militarists and by social theorists. The chapter looks first at how anti-militarist activists recognise militarism as an institutional formation, a (localised) network encompassing militaries, branches of government, the arms industry, public institutions and more. The second part of the chapter draws on International Relations, Critical Military Studies and cognate disciplines to show how militarism can be understood as a complex of value systems, rationalities, social practices and subjectivities which tend towards the production and legitimisation of political violence. The final part of the chapter introduces two anti-militarist organisations, Veterans for Peace UK and the Peace Pledge Union, showing how they resist various forms of militarism.
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