PSCI 294
The Military in Politics: From the Barracks to the Presidency Fall 2024
Division II

Class Details

The military plays a critical role in protecting borders and maintaining internal security. Effective military institutions are essential for national security, but also present a threat to civilian rule. Strong militaries are capable of interfering in the political process, leading to a contentious relationship between soldiers and civilians. How do you convince those who hold the guns to respect civilian rule when their interests are threatened? Should the military remain in the barracks when politicians present a threat to political, economic, or social stability? What mechanisms of control are necessary to limit military interference in civilian affairs? In this course we will explore the complex dynamic between civilian politicians and military institutions through case studies from North America, Western Europe, Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. We will examine the effect of military characteristics such as professionalization, size, effectiveness, ethnic composition, and economic resources on civilian control. The course will delve into the impact of military rule on development, conflict, democracy, and civil society.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 1984
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 3 Response Papers, Group Assignment, Presentation
Prerequisites: No Prerequisites
Enrollment Preferences: Preference given to political science majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: PSCI Comparative Politics Courses

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