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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Spring 2005

GOV 390L • Military in Politics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36675 W
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
BUR 232

Course Description

This course is designed to familiarize graduate students with the military's role in modern state and society. The focus is on the sociopolitical character of the armed forces. We will examine the most important issues of civil-military relations, such as why is civilian control important, what types of control arrangements and mechanisms are more conducive to healthy civil-military relations in various types of political regimes, and how do military elites respond to state policies and social movements. The class begins with eleven weeks of intensive readings in order to get you grounded in the literature and the help you learn to appreciate the disparate cases of civil-military relations. Students will write brief (one single-spaced page) discussion proposals to facilitate debate about the readings. We will conclude with student presentations (20-30-minute summations of your research). The seminar paper is due at the last seminar meeting (May 4); extensions will not be given save for exceptional cases (e.g., unanticipated call-up for combat duty, debilitating illness, ).

Grading Policy

11 discussion proposals (best 10 taken 3% each): 30 seminar participation (including presentation of the research paper): 10 research paper (minimum 25 pages) : 60

I will just assume that as graduate students you will do the readings as assigned. I want you to immerse yourselves in the books and articles in order to be able to make critical comments during the seminar meetings. Without substantive, engaged discussion the seminar will be of little use. The research paper is the most important requirement of this course. To prevent misunderstandings: the paper should be at least 25 double-spaced pages in length and should benefit from a minimum of 25 different sources (books, articles, etc.). Use of articles from the internet is discouraged (I want you to spend time in the library doing research the old-fashioned way; by reading books). The paper should be structurally sound and the argument(s) should be built to follow logical reasoning. Ideally, the paper would take advantage of some existing theory to inform its argument(s); it should be analytical and feature as little descriptive material as possible (i.e., ask and answer the question “why?” rather than “how?”).


Cohen, Eliot. Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (The Free Press, 2002) Desch, Michael C. Civilian Control of the Military: The Changing Security Environment (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001). Edgerton, Robert B. Africa’s Armies: From Honor to Infamy (Westview Press, 2002) Feaver, Peter D. Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations (Harvard University Press, 2003) Miller, Steven E. and Dmitri Trenin, eds. The Russian Military: Power and Policy (MIT Press, 2004) Moskos, Charles C., John Allen Williams, and David R. Segal, eds. The Postmodern Military: Armed Forces after the Cold War (Oxford University Press, 2000). Pion-Berlin, David, ed. Civil-Military Relations in Latin America (University of North Carolina Press, 2001). Shambaugh, David. Modernizing China’s Military (University of California Press, 2004) Singer, P.W. Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell University Press, 2004) van Creveld, Martin. The Sword and the Olive: A Critical History of the Israeli Army (Public Affairs [Harper-Collins], 2002)


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