Armed forces, states and threats : civil-military institutions and military power in modern democracies
Author(s)DeVore, Marc Ronald
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
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Two longstanding questions preoccupying political scientists, military officers and policymakers alike are how should and how do political leaders interact with military professionals? This thesis argues that historic patterns of civil-military relations underlay distinct national defense policymaking institutions, which, in turn, shape how states produce and employ force. Thus, long after states are no longer prey to military interventions in politics, the institutions originally created to protect government from the armed forces will continue to shape how governments use military force. In states where civil-military conflict prompted sustained periods of institutional development, present day governments will possess institutional resources to exert maximal civilian control over defense policymaking. States with harmonious civil-military legacies will lack these institutional structures and will exercise a lesser degree of civilian control. Each form of political control embodies distinct comparative advantages, one privileging the integration of military activities with the state's foreign policy, while the other provides for greater military effectiveness. Termed "civil-military legacy theory," the analytical framework of the dissertation is rooted in historic institutionalism. The theory is tested by examining the elaboration of military doctrine, the acquisition of new weapons and the conduct of military interventions in France and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom and France have, since the Second World War, possessed and expended comparable resources on defense. The United Kingdom and France have, however, diametrically opposite experiences of civil-military relations. The United Kingdom has never experienced a significant civil-military crisis; France has six times seen a general become head of state without being elected, and nine times seen military factions attempt to supplant the government. As predicted, France's history of fractious civil-military relations led it to develop civil-military control institutions that permit civilian leaders to micromanage military doctrine, procurement and operations. Conversely, the United Kingdom's record of civil-military concord has resulted in the armed forces retaining authority over an autonomous sphere of military competence. The principle of civilian control of the armed forces is acknowledged in both cases, but its practice varies widely, with a functional division of labor in the British case and more intrusive civilian control in the French.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2009.Vita. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (v. 2, p. 739-769).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology