War and the body, war and the mind

02 July 2018

War has a profound effect on both the human body and the human mind. This issue of the Review will explore the place of the body in war and address various issues such as the war wounded and other physical consequences of armed conflict, war surgery, the respectful and dignified handling of dead bodies, human enhancement of soldiers or the different ways in which genders experience war.

This edition will also examine various aspects of the human mind related to warfare, such as the impact of war on mental health and the use of psychology in military operations. War causes great psychological trauma to civilians and combatants alike. The "invisible scars" of war - from "shell shock" first observed after WW I to "post-traumatic stress disorder" (PTSD), have been extensively studied and the mental health response progressively developed. Modern armies have recognized the psychological consequences of combat and psychological support is made available for veterans, but there is far less attention paid to psychological consequences of violence on the affected civilian population and their access to psychosocial care, including persons with existing mental health disabilities.

The ICRC has commissioned various studies in recent years which attempt to understand behavior in war (for example the Roots of Behavior in War study, which is currently being revisited, as well as the People on War project, which aimed at understanding how civilians and combatants experience war, etc.). Mental health and care of humanitarian practitioners is also increasingly being addressed and discussed in the humanitarian field.

This issue will also address the distinction between the body and the mind, to see how this division is seen in different cultures.

Authors are invited to send submissions to the Review's editorial team, preferably in the form of a Word document, at review@icrc.org. The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2018. Additional guidelines for authors are available here.