Staff College: Old Thinking versus New Practice

Research Paper Title

Unity is Strength: Staff College and the British Officer Corps.


Utilising Bourdieu’s concept of the habitus, Keith Macdonald has recently examined the elite social origins of the British officer corps. His analysis is valid as far at it goes but it ignores the professional practices of British officers.

This article examines Britain’s Joint Services Command and Staff College to assess the unification of the three services around common forms of military practice. It argues that while the new staff college has been effective in disseminating new forms of professional expertise among British officers, various practices have been institutionalised which actively undermine the unity of the officer corps.


King, A. (2009) Unit is Strength: Staff College and the British Officer Corps. The British Journal of Sociology. 60(1), pp.123-144.


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