POLI 227 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Military Elite, Class Conflict, Modernization Theory

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4.1 The Army in (and out of) Politics (February 22, March 6)
• Handelman, Challenges of the Developing World, ch. 8.
Ch.8: Soldiers and Politics
The Divide between Politics and Military
- LCDs used to have high degree of military governments, which have decreased as
democracy has taken over but still have not ceased to exist
- Industrialized democracies using military leaders
o i.e. America (Eisenhower) france (de Gaulle) and Israel (Barak)
o the individuals had prior military careers that elevated them through ranks,
however entered office as private individuals through democratic elections
- LCS with authoritarian military regimes
o i.e. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru (1940s-1970s) and Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria
o Soldiers that reject any differentiation between military and politics
o Come to power as representatives of military forces through coups
o Defining characteristic of political underdevelopment in many LCDs
o Coups becomes the functional equivalent of democratic elections
o Less so in Asia (elected civilian governments or authoritarian governments that
are not military (rather keep military in check)) or have individuals enter as
military men and then assume civilian roles
o 20th C has seen decrease in prevalence of military govs in LCDs and transitions to
democracy have occurred (i.e. Nigeria and Ghana) , however they still exist in
various countries or continue to exert influence/power of governments(p.239)
The Causes of Military Intervention
- Internal Characteristics of armed forces
- Political Environment in which military operates (i.e. weakness of civilian regimes)
The Nature of Armed Forces
- Greater organizational cohesion within military forces compared to division within
civilian political institutions
- Class origins, educational levels, ideological orientations and internal organization of
officer corps
o Education/training influence political values
Internal welfare vs external threats training
New vs old military professionalism
Professionalization of military if on external threats (old) (train against
foreign forces and thus disinterested with domestic politics) creates divide
between military and politics, but unites them if it is in regard to internal
welfare (new) (i.e. guerrilla unrest/civil insurrections)
level of civilian control over armed forces correlated to level of
external threat country faces (foreign adversary) vs extent of domestic
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threat (internal upheaval)
The Nature of Civil Society
Military ability/tendency to intervene less based on own capabilities and more based on degree
of weakness of civilian political institutions (political and institutional structure of society
(Samuel Huntington.)
- Civilian gov immune to military forces
o Substantial support from
political and economic elites
endorsement of civilian leaders (i.e. India led to countries as
economically and politically modernized and cultured to be less
susceptible to military coups)
political elites endure process of “political learning” which enables them
to change their attitudes to political governance in consideration of things
that will make them less prone to military intervention
i.e. Venezuela: moderate political conflict amongst parties when
political polarization of civilian becomes too high (avoid class/civil
conflict and division) increased interparty cooperation (sign
Punto Fijo) establish more stable civilian governments
Influential political parties
Entrenched in society and with widespread support
General public
Believe their pol and civilian insitutions/leaders are legitimate
legitimacy of elections as only way to leadership
o Provides political stability and healthy economy
Modernization theory (more socioeconomic development more
democracy and political stability)
Unable to maintain economic security/stability Perceived as corrupt or
unable to maintain political stability (decreased legitimacy)
support of civil society for military intervention
o Has strong civil society
Network of independent groups (labor unions, business organizations)
High class conflict collapse of strong governments with strong party
systems in 1970s (Chile and Uruguay)
Progressive Soldiers and Military Conservatives
Political behaviors and policies of military regimes after having established control
- Early modernization theorists argued armed forces could contribute to development (to
combine maximum rates of modernization with maximum levels of stability and control)
o Rational
o Disciplined organization
o Commitment to modern values
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o Nationalistic but above class/regional/tribal interests (objective)
o i.e. Turkish Military revolt of 1919
- Varied ideological/economical/socialpolitical stances in varied military governments
o Leftist Militaries: (i.e. Peru, Libya…)
Economic redistribution, greater state intervention in economy, mass
mobilization, struggle against imperialism, and agrarian reform
o Conservative Militaries: (i.e. Brazil, SK, Chile…)
Repressed mass political participation and encourages economic policies
(investment by domestic firms and multinational corporations)
- Based on class origins of officer’s corps, nation’s socioeconomic development, and class
alliances that developed in political system
o Tendency to originate from middle class so empathize with middle class sector
View elites as source of country’s backwardness
Lower class becomes ally to militia and middle class in fight
against the elite’s blocking off economic opportunities to others
- Circumstances of PESC prior to militia intervention (more industrialized developing
nations)
o Industrialization and urbanization increased middle class power already
Workers and poor have been mobilized
Urbanization
Spread of secondary/university education
Economic development
enlarged and more empowered middle class (take over some power
from elites)
o leads middle class and militia to ally with elites against lower class (“threat”)
fearing growing political unrest and attempting to repress mass mobilization
poor “mass unrests” threaten nation’s stability
The Types and Goals of Military Regimes
- Personalistic Regimes: a single charismatic officer with a strong personal following
them, emphasizing own personal enrichment with little interest in economic/political
reform
o Lack meaningful ideological stance (no political/economic national/general goal)
o Legitimacy: patronage, clientelistic alliances and systematic intimidation
o Play on increasing ethnic divisions
Maintaining absolute control by increasing stigmatization of minorities,
opposition, and persecution of diverse members of society
o Abuse state/nation economy to favor elites and themselves
Enhance corruption
Use money distribution to appease parts of society (civil, institutions or
elites) to “buy” their legitimacy bankrupt long-term national
government for short-term gains
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