Political Armies: The Military and Nation Building in the Age of Democracy

Paperback / softback
In the post Cold War era does the withdrawal of armies from direct rule in most countries herald an end to their role as actors in domestic politics? Is it indeed sensible to assume that political intervention by the military has been more or less permanently superceded? Drawing on the 20th century experience of a dozen important countries this book examines a number of closely related issues: What generalizations can be made about the causes and enduring consequences of military rule for nation building and economic development? How have the passing of the Cold War, the rise of globalization and other changes in the 1990s affected the political role of the military? How can we assess the role of political armies in relation to the problems of consolidating civil politics and democratic governance? Are there lessons for policy makers to be learned from a comparative analysis of political armies in such fields as global governance and post-conflict reconstruction? This stimulating set of explorations and investigations builds on previous theories about the role of the military in politics and looks to the future - the possible proliferation of armed actors, new perversions in the domestic roles of the armed forces, and the much more prominent emergence of privatized forces of law and order.