Back to the Barracks: A Theoretical Explanation for the Erosion of Military Institutional Prerogatives in Civil-Military Dyads

By Alexander J. Jakubow.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper presents an explanatory theory of institutional change and strategic agency in order to understand the mechanisms by which the formal constitutional prerogatives of outgoing authoritarian, military regimes are eroded by civilian actors over time. Drawing on recent theoretical insights in from the historical institutionalist literature, the theory will be applied in fleshing out the processes by which civilian actors use “layering” and “conversion” processes to overturn the institutional privileges of an outgoing military regime following a coup. This theory contends that constitutional legitimacy, processes of institutional layering and conversion, political learning, credible commitment mechanisms, and the role of the international actors all play integral roles in understanding and explaining fundamental shifts in the balance of institutional power between statesmen and soldiers over time.

Keywords: Civil-military Relations, Institutional Renegotiation, Layering, Conversion, Military Transitions

Global Studies Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.45-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.241MB).

Alexander J. Jakubow

Doctoral Candidate, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

Alexander Jakubow is a doctoral student in political science at Rutgers University. Alexander’s research interests include EU expansion and integration, civil-military relations, and ethnic politics.


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