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Enemy making, or enmification, is a process through which people dehumanize their adversaries. Three types of explanations can be discerned for why people need enemies. One theory is that people psychologically need enemies as suitable targets for the displacement of their personal fears and hostilities. The second explanation is political: Leaders create enemies to mobilize the nation around common aims or to profit from the arms industry. The third explanation is that enemy making is a natural and crucial factor in combat because it helps construct distance between soldiers and their enemies, which is crucial in order to be able to kill adversaries.

Enemy images together with the idea that enemies serve a function for societies and for individuals have attracted the attention of scholars from ...

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