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Lecture 12

POLI 227 Lecture 12: Military and Politics

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Political Science
POLI 227
Rex J Brynen

The Military in and out of Politics Examples Burma/Myanmar -Suffered a coup after independence -Led to the formation of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, which imposed martial law in the late 1980s -Renamed in 1998 but continued as a military junta -Aung San Suu Kyi, a democratic activist, was arrested, but now kinda leads the country from house arrest -Reforms have led to the military giving up power, but they still have some power and could take over if any serious crisis occurred Nigeria -Independence in 1966 -Through the late 1990s, it oscillated from civilian to military rule and back -Played partially off of ethnic and cultural differences -Imperfect democracy since 1990s -Military no longer has the credibility to take over during a serious national crisis, because the civilian government is so entrenched -Time and military weakness made a difference -However, if it lasted many years it could be an issue El Salvador -Independent in 1840, but controlled by juntas from 1931-1979 -15 juntas -Civil war in 1980s with coup and mixed governments -In 1992 the UN peace agreement created demobilization and demilitarization -Elections have been held in 1994, 1999, 2005 -Former leftist rebel (FMLN) candidates have won the elections -Military, leaning right, is not much of a factor at all -Or else they would not have allowed the FMLN to mainstream Egypt -Monarchy ended in 1952 and then was ruled by military men -Regime was civilian but leaders were military men -al-Nasir, Sadat, Mubarak -The regime gradually civilized -In 2005 an opposition candidate was allowed to run but then arrested after losing -Hosni Mubarak won and Gamal Mubarak was thought to be a successor -Mubarak resigned in Arab Spring -Military went alongside pro-democracy civilians because it would benefit their interests to get rid of Mubarak -Formed SCAF to manage the transitional process -Controls a vast portion of the economy, so their interests were key -In 2012, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood won, which slid downhill in terms of military relations -A coup occurred and the government was overthrown in 2013 -General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ran and won in a dubious election -Egypt returned to a model of authoritarian military-leader government, but this time with even more direct military control over the government Why Nature of the Military -Large, has lots of people -May be interested in various segments of society Civil Society and Culture -Civil society may be weak so armed forced fill in -Deals too with political culture, because some see the military as this crucial to the ordering of society itself -Weak institutions of government may undermine credibility and trust in civilian government -In Turkey, the coup attempt was condemned because the political culture was not amenable to the coup -Extended to Kurds, military troops, even anti-government media outlets -Male conscripts were still pro-AKP so commanders struggled to command units -Military units figured out it was a coup and actually reneged on their commanders -Attitudes matter Dependency and Vulnerability -Boom and bust cycles linked to commodities may create instability -Thus, the military serves as a stabilizing factor -Bureaucratic authoritarianism rises Neopatrimonialism -Coup attempts can replace a power structure -Patrons control a high degree of power, so taking over is very tempting Military and Upward Mobility -In some parts of the world, especially the Middle East, only the poor and marginalized were in the military -Egypt 1952 became an underclass coup -Officer corps was lower-class, so often it becomes a class based conflict (often looking for redistributive solutions) Legitimacy -Governments may need the military to protect the government -This may put the military in a larger role -Tunisian military was small and apolitical -Hadn’t gotten sucked into politics -So they refused to back up the president during a coup Outside Actors -In Montenegro rn, Russian intel is trying to cause one -In the 1970’s, the CIA tried to help Pinochet overthrow Allende -Lots in the military already wanted to overthrow him -Foreign actors can only cause a coup if all the ingredients are already there Huntington’s Typology Breakthrough Coup -Egypt 1952, Salvadorian coups -Officers try to use the power of a coup to promote social reform -The military tends to be from disadvantaged groups Veto Coup -Latin American in general -Conservative, high ranking officers prevent social change -When the officers have high linkage to the elites Guardian Coup -Egypt 2012 -Military intervening for more prosaic reasons -Worried about power, unhappy with corruption, etc -Generally concerned with preserving military interests in the status quo Once in Power Anti-Politics vs Politics -Military often complains about the messy bureaucracy of civilian politics -In theory, the military is all about efficiency and direct hierarchy -Not a back and forth of negotiation -Initially comes in bashing the “way things are” under civilian rule, accusing them of corruption and saying they will make everything work -Might work for a few months at most, but eventually they get suc
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