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Civil-military relations and military change

The classic theories of civil-military change attempt to explain how to maintain the ideal balance of power between the military and civilian institutions and how to achieve civilian control of the military. They do so by drawing on institutionalist (divergence-based) logics (Huntington 1957), sociological (convergence-based) approaches (Janowitz 1960; Moskos 1973, 2016), rationalistic frameworks (Feaver 1996; Desch 1999), neo-institutionalism (Pion-Berlin 1992; Avant 1994, 2007) (see Croissant et al. 2013: 42) or pluralistic rationales (Segal et al. 1974; Schiff 2012). The latter advocate an interdependent, variable or fusionist type of relationship between civilians and the military in order to meet imperatives of both democratic control and military efficiency. As discussed more in-depth below, 1 argue that while the classical civil-military theories are helpful as a starting point to understand the relationship between the military and civilians, they are not sufficient to explain the civil-military dynamics in insecure orders in post-military transition. Before going into depth on the pluralistic types of civilian control, the shortcomings of some of the classic theories of civil- military relations are worthy of being outlined.

One problem with the professionalisation, i.e. institutional divergence, approach (Huntington 1957) is that it is not able to fully explain the developments in the case under analysis in this research. Benefitting from a strong administration, infrastructure and economy, the army continued to interfere in politics even after the end of the military regime of General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan, indicating that a highly professional and autonomous military does not preclude the risk of intervention. Similarly, in the case of Egypt, a professional military adopted innovative strategies to maintain political autonomy (Roll 2015). Another shortcoming of Huntington’s theory is that policy decisions based on a bipolar, institutionally divergent understanding of civil-military relations can pose significant ‘hazards’ to security, as emphasised by the US decision of military intervention in Iraq, which was taken based on Huntington’s understanding of civil-military relations (Schiff 2012: 320). Despite all the drawbacks, a predominantly institutionalist understanding of civilian oversight, based on Huntington’s model of ‘objective’ control - i.e. “the recognition of autonomous military professionalism” (Huntington 1957: 83-4) - continues to be central to the handbooks and conceptual frameworks of security sector reform (SSR) (Brzoska and Heinemann-Griider 2004: 123), on which EU and other international actors’ programmes rely. Professionalisation is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition of civilian control and its operationalisation in the framework of multi-agency, inclusive security approaches needs to be revised. In fact, in Pakistan and Egypt, the professionalism of the army assisted in overthrowing civilian governments.

Sociological approaches of civil-military relations claim that the way to achieve civilian control of the military is an integration of the armed forces with the values of the society (Janowitz 1960; Boene 1990: 27), i.e. ‘societal control’ (see Feaver 1996: 166). To overcome the dilemma of balance of power between civilians and the military, Janowitz (1960: 418) proposes the pragmatic concept of‘constabulary forces’, which refers to a military “committed to a minimum use of force”. The pragmatic military acts as a ‘pressure group’ (Janowitz 1960: 343) that aims at justifying its role and importance in domestic and international affairs. The constabulary approach draws on the police model and assumes that the armed forces are “sensitive to the political and social impact of the military establishment in international security affairs” (Janowitz 1960: 420). The way to achieve civilian control is through a ‘meaningful integration’ of the military ‘with civilian values’, while formal oversight remains mainly the duty of parliamentary and/or executive institutions (Janowitz 1960: 343, 349,420,440). Nonetheless, differences between the military’s primordial role in the use of force and deterrence (Segal et al. 1974: 2; Воёпе 1990: 5) and civilian institutions make a total convergence between civilians and the military neither feasible nor desired. In fact, the sociological approach does not claim total convergence in the stricto sensu of structural isomorphism, but sees the relationship between civilian and the military as asymptotic (Segal et al. 1974) or ‘tangential’ (Moskos 1973: 170). In this context, civil society - distinct from the so-called ‘non-civil’ society - can help by strengthening democratic norms and thus change the environment in which the military operates. This can put new types of pressure on the armed forces to change or adapt. The sociological approach has multiple points of similarity with pluralistic models of democratic civilian control that are described in the following.

The proliferation of multi-track peace and security approaches has opened the space for more concertation, coherence and collaboration between actors working on similar ends in order to increase efficiency and eliminate duplication or contradiction. Post-Cold War pluralistic approaches of civil-military relations aimed to overcome the convergence/ divergence dichotomy sustained by previous theories (Huntington 1957; Janowitz 1960; Moskos 1973) by arguing that the level of civilian control is placed on a continuum and oscillates in function of structural or contextual determinants. Convergence and divergence can co-exist and/or alternate in function of the mission type (combat or technical support activities) (Segal

et al. 1974: 2), (civilian) monitoring capacity (Feaver 1996, 1999, 2005), types of threat (internal or external) (Desch 1999; Stepan 2016: 229) or strategic exigencies (Boene 1990; Schiff 1995, 2012; Cottey et al. 2002).

Among the pluralistic approaches of civil-military relations, which advocate interdependent civil-military relations and complementary roles, Rebecca Schiff’s concordance model deserves particular analytical scrutiny. The concordance theory of civil-military relations claims that a ‘targeted partnership’ and inclusive interaction and dialogue between ‘military, political elites and citizenry’ in the political decision-making process are necessary for an effective defence, security and counterinsurgency strategy (Schiff 2012; 318-9). A ‘targeted partnership’ and inclusive interaction between ‘military, political elites and citizenry’ in the political decision-making process (Schiff 2012; 319) is likely to enable an optimal environment of information symmetry and maximise the perspectives for efficiency by increasing ‘strategic literacy’ (Foster 2005: 99). Strategic literacy refers to “the intellectual sophistication and capacity to appreciate the larger purpose and ramifications of sound civil-military relations” and can be enhanced by a “transparent collaborative dialogue among all parties to the civil-military relations” (Foster 2005: 99). This inclusive approach enables the achievement of the ‘strategic aims’ of the post-modern (post- Westphalian) democracy, i.e. guarantee of security, crisis prevention and the sustainable safeguard of the society (Foster 2005: 93). Strategic literacy can optimise domestic decision-making outcomes and increase state capacity to cope with international security threats (Brooks and Stanley 2007). Under the strategic imperative, “the military professional cannot ignore the political consequences of his military action, for national interest and international public opinion is now playing a crucial role in military conflict and the legitimacy of the whole military enterprise is at stake” (Boene 1990: 17). The substantive importance of the ‘targeted partnership’ lies in its potential explanatory power to account for the interchangeable roles and levels of democratic civilian control depending on security demands, i.e. more control during the periods of peace and less control during the periods of crisis.

A good example of such targeted partnership comes from the Philippines, where local communities and civil society actors initiate platforms that enable exchange, dialogue and negotiation wfith the local government and security forces (Mason 2010). A recent research (Espesor 2019) has provided the evidence of NGOs’ role in informing armed forces and military staff about conflict transformation mechanisms and training soldiers on SSR approaches, in the Philippines. Another striking example comes from post-conflict Sri Lanka, where the military has intensively integrated both domestic and international NGOs in humanitarian, development and de-mining projects (ReliefWeb 2007). However, these studies do not provide sufficient data to understand whether non-state actors can put a real limit on military pow'er. The current book aims at adding to this evidence by providing empirical data on the role of non-state actors in democratising security governance: What is their role in civil-military change and democratisation of security institutions and security governance? The concept of civilian control might yet be premature for a transitional, insecure, hybrid orders, but SSR and comprehensive, multi-agency security processes could be a pre-cursor of civilian control in the future under certain conditions that I specify in this book.

Pluralistic approaches to civil-military relations are also linked to the changes in the nature of security threats. Shifts from conventional war to deterrence strategies due to transformations in the social and economic order (Воёпе 1990) generated a pragmatic shift in the role of armed forces from classic combat missions to “humanitarian, peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations” in the post-Cold War period. Drawing on Janowitz’ sociological model of civil-military relations, the post-modern, cosmopolitan military (Moskos et al. 2000; Gilmore 2015) relies on ‘constabularization’, i.e. the understanding that “security services must act with a minimum use of force” and aim at “viable international relations rather than victory” (Воёпе 1990: 22; Lambert 2011: 161-2). Johansen (1992: 115) claims that ‘demilitarization’ and ‘democratization’ are mutually reinforcing. Social change driven, for example, by technological progress or advocacy by ‘values-based organisations’ (Goel 2004: 26), such as NGOs (Pearce 1993), leads to a necessarily active role of the military in policymaking (Воёпе 1990: 35; Lambert 2011: 160). However, in the case of Pakistan, it is likely that some military actors would dispute this logic and either believe that Pakistan was not ready for such democracy or that the military was the defender of democracy. In such cases, how are an active role of the military in politics and civilian oversight reconcilable, particularly in hybrid orders, is an issue which is explored later in this book.

The military vision of the civil-military balance of power in fragile and insecure states (hybrid orders) is likely to be radically different from that in established democracies. Thus, it is the transition from an authoritarian, e.g. military, system to a phase of pluralism or democratisation and its links to institutional military change and transformation, which is crucial to understand.

 
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