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date: 28 February 2021

Military Politics and Democratic Transition: Combining Rationality, Culture, and Structurelocked

  • Hicham Bou NassifHicham Bou NassifDepartment of Government, Claremont McKenna College

Summary

Rationality, culture, and structure provide useful insights into military politics by stressing self-centered motivations, norms, and large impersonal forces, respectively. The armed forces can transform popular uprisings into democratic transitions, or, alternatively, uphold the status quo. Furthermore, officers can allow nascent democratic experiments to consolidate, or they can resurrect authoritarianism. Whatever they choose to do, multiple material and ideational factors will inform their agency, and by extension, the political dynamics unfolding in transitional times.

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