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Why do individuals voluntarily fight in wars? Volunteering is a characteristic phenomenon of modern wars, yet has surprisingly never been approached by historians, sociologists or political scientists in a comprehensive way. This book therefore fills an important gap in the historiography of war and society in modern times by tackling the motivations, social backgrounds, military uses and experiences of war volunteers in the wars between the early nineteenth century and today. By using a comparative perspective, the book provides an important basis for the interpretation of volunteer movements and significantly furthers our understanding of the relationship between war and society in modern times.

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