Clausewitz on War, Politics and StrategyThe Evolution of a Reputation, 1831-2019

Type Book/Film/Article review
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 04 Sep 2019
View graph of relations
Citation formats


This article is concerned with the work of the Prussian soldier and philosopher of war, Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831). The article examines recent developments in debates about the cotemporary relevance of Clausewitz for strategic thought. The piece surveys the history of misperception and misinterpretation directed at Clausewitz since his death in 1831 as a prelude to arguing for his continued relevance. It argues that much of the criticism directed at Clausewitz is prompted not by any real demonstration of his obsolescence, but is more often rooted in a visceral dislike of past proponents of Clausewitz for their aggressive and militaristic policies. Only an appreciation of the history of the misappropriation of, and the misconceptions surrounding, has the added advantage of assisting the reader in his/her interpretation of Clausewitz. Clausewitz’s Universalist appeal renders him more useful than ever in the twenty-first century, an era of globalisation and fragmentation.


  • Clausewitz, Strategy, History of War, Prussia, Germany


  • Clausewitz, still the Master of War?: On Strategy in the Twenty-First Century

    Accepted author manuscript, 372 KB, PDF

    Embargo ends: 04 May 2021

    Request copy