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Poli Sci 2300- Military Police and Civil Society

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 2300Y
Peter Arthur

of 2
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Military Police & Civil Society
Role of Military, Police and CS in Public Policy Making or Politics!
Generalizing about the military’s role in the policy process, compared to other
bureaucracy, is hard and impossible
Role of police also varies based on particular regime
Impact of civil society is mixed at best
NGO’s – major part of civil society that organizes in developing countries that
provide primary education to kids, basic rights of citizens, provide stuff that the
government can’t
Essay question: What is the contribution to civil society from developing and
transitional countries?
In one sense, the military is much like any other part of the bureaucracy or civil
Follows standard operating procedures
Crafts policies in areas of interests/expertise
In another sense, military is different tha bureaucracy in terms of its control over
means of force
Due to its military can overthrow existing government. Conditions – top military
leaders turn against government; lower levels of military follow top direction
Military’s Role
Of all the unelected government components, military varies the most in
determining policies
This variation not only exists across countries, but also within the same country at
different points in time
In an ideal situation, civilian control of the military is the best tradition
Military thus doesn’t control government decision making (even in the case of
military spending)
For instances, military decisions in the US rest on non-military leaders including
the president as commander in chief and secretary of defense (who by law must
be a civilian)
Military’s Tasks under Civilian Control
Military, as the subordinate to non-military government officials have two tasks:
defending the country (arms race) [ex. Pakistan vs. India – if one spends a lot on
nuclear power, the other will] and developing into a professional fighting force
Military was used to control and expand empires during colonial period
Other roles: helping during emergencies, security of the country
Militarism is setting the state focusing on having a strong military force and
emphasizing on the need to use it aggressively when needed
Coup d’etat – random in developing countires
Military Praetorianism
A political system in which the military is an activeand regular participant in
politics, either openly or covertly
Advantages of Military Role
Making tough policy decisions
Restoring order and battling corruption
Disadvantages of military government: Military won’t lose their power once they take
over government
Civil Society
Related to interest groups; voluntarinism
Autonomy from state
Array of voluntary social organizations not controlled by the state
oUS: local services organizations (Rotary Club)
oGroups catering to personal hobbies
oGroups with more political relevance (NRA?)