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Civil-Military Relations and Shared Responsibility

A Four-Nation Study

Dale R. Herspring

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A provocative approach to evaluating civil-military relations.

Dale R. Herspring considers the factors that allow some civilian and military organizations to operate more productively in a political context than others, bringing into comparative study for the first time the military organizations of the U.S., Russia, Germany, and Canada. Refuting the work of scholars such as Samuel P. Huntington and Michael C. Desch, Civil-Military Relations and Shared Responsibility approaches civil-military relations from a new angle, military culture, arguing that the optimal form of civil-military relations…

A provocative approach to evaluating civil-military relations.

Dale R. Herspring considers the factors that allow some civilian and military organizations to operate more productively in a political context than others, bringing into comparative study for the first time the military organizations of the U.S., Russia, Germany, and Canada. Refuting the work of scholars such as Samuel P. Huntington and Michael C. Desch, Civil-Military Relations and Shared Responsibility approaches civil-military relations from a new angle, military culture, arguing that the optimal form of civil-military relations is one of shared responsibility between the two groups.

Herspring outlines eight factors that contribute to conditions that promote and support shared responsibility among civilian officials and the military, including such prerequisites as civilian leaders not interfering in the military's promotion process and civilian respect for military symbols and traditions. He uses these indicators in his comparative treatment of the U.S., Russian, German, and Canadian militaries.

Civilian authorities are always in charge and the decision on how to treat the military is a civilian decision. However, Herspring argues, failure by civilians to respect military culture will antagonize senior military officials, who will feel less free to express their views, thus depriving senior civilian officials, most of whom have no military experience, of the expert advice of those most capable of assessing the far-reaching forms of violence. This issue of civilian respect for military culture and operations plays out in Herspring's country case studies.

Scholars of civil-military relations will find much to debate in Herspring's framework, while students of civil-military and defense policy will appreciate Herspring's brief historical tour of each countries' post–World War II political and policy landscapes.

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Civil-Military Relations and Shared Responsibility

Dale R. Herspring

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Reviews

Reviews

This book provides a road map to make sense of and explain the variantion, in these cases and for future research.

Dale Herspring's book comes at a perfect moment as we are witnessing instances of 'healthy frictions' in American civil-military relations.

A thorough tour of key civil-military relationships at play across these four disparate national studies awaits those eager to dive in.

An ingenious in-depth analysis of shared responsibility in various cultural and historical contexts... A must read for both experienced scholars seeking a new perspective on civil-military relations and students who are just beginning to explore the topic.

Herspring examines the 'shared responsibility' of civil-military relations in four different countries, offering the provocative conclusion that blame for bad relations often rests with civilians who fail to create the proper environment of respect. This ambitious book will engage specialists and generalists and will particularly appeal to military professionals.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
368
ISBN
9781421409283
Table of Contents

Preface
1. A Conceptual Framework for Shared Responsibility
Part I: United States
2. From John F. Kennedy through Jimmy Carter
3. From Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama
Part II: Germany
4. From Konrad

Preface
1. A Conceptual Framework for Shared Responsibility
Part I: United States
2. From John F. Kennedy through Jimmy Carter
3. From Ronald Reagan through Barack Obama
Part II: Germany
4. From Konrad Adenauer through Willy Brandt
5. From Helmut Schmidt through Angela Merkel
Part III: Canada
6. From Paul Hellyer through Pierre Trudeau
7. From Brian Mulroney through Stephen Harper
Part IV: Russia
8. From Boris Yeltsin through Vladimir Putin
9. From Vladimir Putin through Dmitry Medvedev
10. The Search for Shared Responsibility
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Dale R. Herspring
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Dale R. Herspring

Dale R. Herspring is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science at Kansas State University. He is the author of numerous books, including Rumsfeld's Wars: The Arrogance of Power.