Determinants of military change

Changes in the military doctrine can stem from several sources: civil- military relations (Posen 1984), interservice politics, i.e. “relationship between military services” (Grissom 2007: 910-1), intraservice competition, i.e. competition between different military departments (Rosen 1991), or culture, defined as “intersubjective beliefs about the social and natural world that define actors, their situations, and the possibilities of action” (Farrell and Terriff 2002: 7-8).

Due to the military’s ‘institutional resistance’ (IISS 2001: 24) to change, military institutions “are intrinsically inflexible, prone to stagnation, and fearful of change” (Grissom 2007:919). In the cultural model, ‘senior leaders’ or civilians, i.e. ‘agents of innovation’, are regarded to be the major sources of triggering change: “They recognize the need for change, formulate a new way of warfare, position their organization to seize the opportunity of innovation, and bludgeon, politically leverage, or culturally manipulate the organization into compliance” (Grissom 2007: 920). In the framework of the cultural model, ‘external shocks’ and ‘cross-national professional military culture’ (Grissom 2007: 916-7) can trigger the processes of military change. External shocks can “reshape culture by providing fertile ground for innovation”, while cross-national professionalisation can trigger change through the processes of emulation (Grissom 2007: 917).

This book focuses in particular on the two types of sources of military change: (1) civil-military relations and (2) cultural change in the military institution.

First, in relation to civil-military relations as a source of military change, a series of variables can shape relations between civilians and armed forces and determine the level of democratic civilian control or civilian influence. The substantive capacity of civilians to exert control over armed forces can vary in function of “the weight and role of coercion in governance” (Alagappa 2001: 57), the negotiation process between military and civilian leaders during the periods of transition (Agtiero 1995: 139—53) as well as “structural factors that define regime capacity”, i.e. the “strength of civilian institutions”, institutional legacies, path-dependencies and the degree of “civilian expertise” (Trinkunas 2005: 16; Croissant et at. 2012:43). The evidence based on qualitative case studies from Asia (Mietzner 2011; Croissant et al. 2013: 208; see also Croissant et al. 2010) concludes that the robustness of civilian control strategies depends on the level of “consensus among relevant civilian elites” and “support for democracy”. It can generally be expected that these factors are influenced by macro-structural factors such as the level of socio-economic development and modernisation, the ‘international context’ or the level and type of security threat (Desch 1999; Alagappa 2001: 41). Robert Putnam (1967: 84) identifies four factors which can influence the military’s predisposition to intervene in politics: “(1) aspects of socioeconomic development; (2) aspects of political development; (3) characteristics of the military establishment itself; and (4) foreign influence”. More specifically, Huntington (1995: 14) conceptualises four factors that can determine the balance of military-civilian power in “new' democracies”: “Military- interventions in politics, pre-existing military privileges, the definitions of roles and missions and the development and diffusion of new military technology”. In a comprehensive literature review that deserves citation in full length, Kuehn (2016: 7) divides the variables influencing civil-military relation in ‘military-internal factors’ and ‘military-external factors’. The first category includes:

[Normative variables such as military values - for instance, “professionalism” (Huntington 1957; Barany 2012) - or the degree of popular support for the military (Mares 1998) but also structural and institutional factors such as the military’s class structure (Nun 1967), its corporate interests or grievances (Beeson and Bellamy 2008), its size (Collier and Hoeffler 2006), and its internal cohesion (T. Lee 2014).

(Kuehn 2016: 7-8)

In other words, the first category of factors refers to the ability of the military organisation to perpetuate its institutions, interests and values. Military- external variables include:

[Historical factors such as colonial history (Collier and Hoeffler 2005), the nature and type of the regime preceding the new democratic system (Aguero 1997), and the prevalence of military coups prior to the transition to democracy (Ezrow and Frantz 2011); structural variables such as existing domestic security threats (Alagappa 2001), socioethnic cleavages (Frazer 1995) and socio economic factors (Gandhi and Przew'orski 2006); institutional explanations such as the cohesion of the civilian elites (Serra 2010), the specific configuration of political institutions and the system of government (Trinkunas 2005), and the degree of consolidation the new' democratic institutions have achieved (Croissant et al. 2013); and international factors such as the influence of international actors and organisations (Ruby and Gibler 2010) and external security threats (Desch 1999).

(Kuehn 2016: 8)

Second, building inter alia on the military-internal variables of change, 1 argue that the cultural model (Farrell and Terriff 2002: 7-8) can act as a model of bottom-up military change under the constraint or as a result of external factors. To test this argument, 1 use the military’s interactions with civilian actors, e.g. in the framework of SSR and related activities propagated by local organisations under the auspices of international organisations (IOs) and other international actors. At first glance, global governance looks like a top-down process, in the sense that the inputs, whether development aid, funding or other type of support or incentives, come from the international level. In the framework of multi-agency models of security, top-down incentives are complemented by multidimensional processes and formal or informal types of interactions. For example, in its Global Strategy, the European Union envisages the empowerment of local actors and communities and the emergence of bottom-up processes of change. We could expect that multiple “contextual dynamics of negotiation, co-optation, domination, resistance, assimilation and coexistence” as well as “everyday practice” (Visoka 2017: 308) between military and civilian actors will stimulate the bottom-up emergence of military change and eventually transformation. Hybrid interactions taking place between “rational actors motivated by claims to power, justice, entitlements and welfare” are anticipated to result in “dynamic change and transformation” (Visoka 2017: 308, 319).

The next chapter highlights the research gap addressed in this book. The research gap pertains to the notion of democratic civil-military relations/ democratic civilian control as a component of theories of global governance promoting integrated security (discussed in Chapter 2) and civil-military theories (discussed in this chapter). It reveals the shortcomings of the mainstream conceptual understanding of democratic civilian control to explain the processes of military change and democratisation in hybrid orders.

 
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