The Austrian Military Journal

 

The Austrian Military Journal (AMJ) was founded in 1808 and is therefore the oldest[1] journal dealing with military sciences. It offers analyses of security, defence and armaments policy, as well as of the theory of war, including polemology, strategy and operational command. It is produced bimonthly in German by the Austrian Armed Forces and has a circulation of 4,500 - 3,535 of which are subscriptions. In its printed version it is mainly read in German-speaking countries, but it also enjoys a global, if limited, readership.

The Journal is owned by the Republic of Austria and published by the Ministry of Defence and Sports.

Its web presence will increase its reach and make it possible to negotiate the language barrier successfully, as well as offer a platform for international, military-scientific exchange on questions relevant to both Europe and security. 

History of the Journal

Austria’s crushing defeat at the hands of Napoleon in 1805 made a reorganisation of Austria’s Armed Forces inevitable if a repeat of such an event was to be avoided. The driving force behind these changes was Archduke Charles of Austria, who was appointed President of the Court Council of War and initiated root-and-branch reforms, not only of the military, but of the administration as a whole.

He began ambitious reforms to reorganise the army[2] and to turn the Court Council of War into a modern War Ministry. To his brother, Emperor Francis II/I, he recommended the establishment of a research institution dedicated to the military sciences. Thus, the archives of the Court Council of War (the Court Council of War Chancellery Archives, founded in 1711) became the War Archives, which were no longer simply tasked with collecting, indexing and collocating, but also assumed responsibility for Austrian military historiography and research.

To this end, Archduke Charles created the Austrian Military Journal, which was first published on 1 January 1808 under the editorship of Lieutenant Field Marshal Moritz Gomez de Parientos (1744-1810) and continues to this day (with interruptions during times of war)[3]

Importance, Essence and Effect, Goal

As a part of Austrian military-scientific research, the goal of the AMJ is to report on developments of security-political and military-strategic relevance, as well as on research results and derivations (where possible: prognoses) to be made. It also produces and offers articles which meet academic quality criteria and which should serve as a basis for higher military command training and as an aid to ongoing administrative decisions.

Articles dealing with military history are geared towards operationally usable derivations. To this end, analyses of historical events or developments are used to condense universal principles, which, after suitable adaptations, can be applied to current military problems.

Given that research into the causes of war is a fundamental aspect of the interdisciplinary subject of polemology[4], correlations and interdependencies relevant to crisis and conflict development are recorded and systematically analysed in order to contribute to the guiding principle of averting war.

The AMJ releases publications that accompany current research and cooperation projects of the MoD and makes the results of academic research (especially of AAF members) accessible to an audience of highly qualified international experts.

The maxim is to allow, or consciously pursue, also controversial, one-sided views of a topic. The readers are to assess the reasoning themselves, which facilitates a more thorough analysis of a problem by means of a dialectic approach.

The annual evaluation by means of a controlling tool developed in-house makes it possible to gear the Journal towards the defined thematic foci and the aimed-for balance between the categories of politics & policy, military core subjects, history, law, as well as further branches of academia and their subcategories.

Thus, the development of subjects and authors can be traced and, if need be, corrected. The result is that, although the total percentage of military-historical content has remained constant, the number of articles dealing with military history, where an added operational derivation has provided the possibility of practical application, has increased. Furthermore, the number of authors with a higher academic qualification could be raised. 

The Peer-Review Process

With a view to quality management as well as the international standing of the AMJ as a respected journal of military sciences and polemology, and in order to guarantee the appropriate academic recognition for the authors published, the peer review process was initiated in 2013. It is used for selected articles which are not time-sensitive.

This process should also serve to support young authors who pursue an academic career.

 The Thematic Canon

Currently, the canon comprises the following main and subcategories:

  • Politics & Policy

-          politics in general

-          security policy

-          military and defence policy

-          geopolitics and geostrategy

-          armaments policy

-          terrorism

  • Military Core Topics (sans military history)

-          strategy (doctrines, concepts, white papers)

-          operational command (including logistics)

-          psychological warfare, information warfare

-          command in general (including teaching and command training), internal leadership, operations

-          education in general (including tertiary education)

-          armed forces structure, planning and organisational development

-          armaments and procurement

-          communication and defence-related civics

-          theory of war and polemology/research into the causes of war

-          defence ethics

  • History (military history including contemporary history)
  • Law (constitutional and international law, legal aspects of international operations)
  • Other branches of research

-          science in general, research & development, technology, methodology of science

-          economics and finance, business administration

-          psychology, sociology, intercultural competence

-          philosophy (excluding defence ethics)

 

The Step Towards Being a Player in Military Sciences

By means of synergies derived from the approaches below, the Journal is to transform from a simple ‘reproducer’ of knowledge to a content-generating player in military sciences, and thereby become a trusted ambassador of modern military sciences that are oriented towards Europe:

  • presenting research results of the AMJ at events and courses organised by the Austrian National Defence Academy, as well as at international symposia dealing with military sciences,
  • conducting research projects that lead to series of articles on complex subjects relevant to the military,
  • creating an Austrian web presence for the military sciences with the potential to develop into a publication and discussion platform of European reach,
  • instituting a peer-review process to raise the academic level,
  • increasing the contribution to the European Military Press Association (EMPA).

Digital Version – how to order

The issues from 2004 up to the last completed year can be ordered on CD at the editorial office.

Web Presence

The goal of the Journal’s web presence is the creation of a military-scientific platform for publications, international exchange, and discussions of articles on questions relevant to bothEuropeand security.

This website will offer selected content from the printed version that, for the most part, passed the peer-review process. There will also be other articles, intially in German and English, and later on in French.

This web presence is not meant to replace the printed version or be its competitor, but should complement it and help it achieve a circulation that goes beyond the German-speaking countries. Through this, the AMJ is to grow into an international, content-generating academic journal.

The possibility of publishing in English (and later in French) will make the AMJ interesting also for international authors.

This can initiate international cooperation in the fields of research and education and offer a platform for international military-scientific exchange on questions relevant to bothEuropeand security.

Bibliography

  • Zitterhofer, Carl, Streffleurs Militärische Zeitschrift 1808-1908. Eine Geschichte dieser Zeitschrift anläßlich ihres 100jährigen Bestehens mit einem Generalregister der Militärischen Zeitschrift 1808-1907 und des Organs 1870-1906,Vienna, Seidel und Sohn, 1908 (addendum 1908-1912, Vienna, 1913).
  • Pleiner, Horst, ’Die Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift - Ein historischer Rückblick von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart’, in, Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift - Festschrift anlässlich des 200-jährigen Jubiläums der Österreichischen Militärischen Zeitschrift. Sonderheft., Vienna, 2008.


[1] Even the Royal United Services Institute Journal (RUSI) is younger than the AMJ. The Institute’s origins can be traced back to 1829, when a “strictly scientific and professional approach to the study of military affairs” was demanded. It was actually established by the Duke of Wellington in 1831. Publication began in 1857.

[2] cf. Pleiner, Horst, 'Die österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift – Ein historischer Rückblick von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart', in, Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift – Festschrift anlässlich des 200-jährigen Jubiläums der Österreichischen Militärischen Zeitschrift. Sonderheft, second edition, Vienna, 2008, p 40.

[3] cf. Pleiner, Horst, 'Die österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift – Ein historischer Rückblick von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart', in, Österreichische Militärische Zeitschrift – Festschrift anlässlich des 200-jährigen Jubiläums der Österreichischen Militärischen Zeitschrift. Sonderheft, second edition, Vienna, 2008, p 40ff

[3] The term polemology was coined by the French sociologist Gaston Bouthoul, who, together with his colleague Julien Freund, introduced it to the world of science. It is a subdiscipline of the theory of international relations, which mainly investigates the reasons why wars (or conflicts) develop, their modes of operation, as well as social changes in, and the consequences of, war. Therein, methods of various academic disciplines are employed. cf. Polémologie (24 January 2012); Polemologie (24 January 2012); (19 January 2012). Also: Ertl, Paul, Jodok Troy (eds.), Der Feind – Darstellung und Transformation eines Kulturbegriffs. Volume 1: Grundlagen des Feindbegriffs und aktuell wirksame Feindkonzepte, second edition, Vienna, 2009, Volume 2: Ausgewählte Bereiche der Feindkonzeption, second edition, Vienna, 2009 (= Schriftenreihe der Landesverteidigungsakademie; 1/2008 und 2/2008).