Danielson has done nothing short of open the doors to a modern anthropological study of armed forces and provide a clear, meticulous methodology. This leads to some stunning conclusions. . . . anthropology allows for an outsider who has been expertly trained to examine the make-up of a particular culture in order for us to be self-reflective enough as individuals, communities and organisations alike to ask the eternal and fundamentally hard questions: who are we, where did we come from and, most importantly, where are we going? Making Warriors in a Global Era makes an important contribution to answering these questions. May we continue that work.
Tone Danielsen accomplishes a remarkable feat in modern anthropology: gaining access to a remote and insular special operations “tribe,” the Marinejegerkommandoen, or the Norwegian version of the Navy SEALs. Few outsiders gain access, much less their trust. Her keen observations and penetrating insights, gained over more than a decade of field work, shed light on the unit’s selection process, forging of identity, and their collective decision making process—the seaman’s council. In doing so, Danielsen’s work takes its place among the handful of serious, scholarly works in the emerging field of special operations.
By using innovative qualitative methods and gaining unparalleled access to her research subjects, Dr. Danielsen has not only written a landmark study of the Norwegian special operations forces community but one which will also stand as a model for research on other country’s SOF. Making Warriors in a Global Era is a critical addition to the emerging literature on qualitative approaches to the study of the military in general and special operations forces in particular.