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The military qualities of democratic elites. Factors structuring the political control of the military in democracy

Jean Joana
University of Montpellier
Jean Joana
University of Montpellier
Open Panel

Abstract

Since the end of cold war, the lack of experience and legitimacy of political elites concerning military issues was evoked as the factor explaining the crisis of the civil-military relations in the United States . If these hypotheses highlight a part of the conflicts between the administrations of B. Clinton and G.W. Bush, on one hand, and their military leaders, on another hand, they fail to explain all their aspects. In this perspective, by exploiting the international litterature about civil-military relations, the present contribution wants to indentify factors structuring the military qualities of the democratic elites. In « a system of governance in wich rulers are held accountable for their actions in the public realm by citizens » , the ability of the political elites to set their choice in military issues is worked out by three variables : the organization of the civil power, i. e. the comptences of political institutions in military issues, the logic of military expertise, i. e. the preferences and behaviors adopted by servicemen in the policymaking process, and the political cost of civilian control on the military.