Cornelia Baciu has written an important book on how the states with partial or tenuous democratic institutions adapt to democratic security processes. Her work speaks to a growing literature that explores how norms are socialised to military actors, especially those that provide for civilian control and prevent military involvement in politics. Scholars have proposed numerous possible mechanisms in this respect, debating whether professionalism either encourages or propels military involvement in politics. Other recent studies explore (and cast doubt about) whether factors such as foreign military education, security force assistance, joint training or other means of exposure to foreign, democratic militaries can successfully promote a normative change of this kind. These studies tend to focus on top-down mechanisms, or military to military interaction and socialisation.
Baciu’s book suggests a new and exciting alternative mechanism: that it is the low-level, regular interactions between non-governmental organisations and international organisations that produce a change in cultural conceptions about the military’s role in society. The military then adapts and responds. She therefore describes how a normative change in militaries occurs differently than previously understood. Militaries adapt their practices as a result of broader features of global governance and the actors engaged in it.
Beyond these important contributions, Baciu offers an empirical one. She deftly discusses the different actors involved in promoting democratic practices and enhanced security governance. The book also includes an important new source material based on her interviews and surveys of Pakistani military officials. That Baciu was able to complete these interviews is impressive and a major contribution in its own right.
In sum, with this book, Baciu advances the study of security force assistance, global governance and civil-military relations. She also offers practical insights and ideas for actors seeking to strengthen the security governance in fragile or hybrid settings. Her core insight is illuminating and xviii Foreword
important: a military change occurs through larger social processes and the impact of societal and international actors.
Risa Brooks, PhD
Allis Chalmers Associate Professor of Political Science at Marquette
University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Adjunct Scholar at the Modern War Institute, West Point, New York Non-resident Senior Associate in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, DC