Civil-military Relations in Postcommunist Europe: Reviewing the Transition

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Timothy Edmunds, Andrew Cottey, Anthony Forster
Taylor & Francis, 2006 - Political Science - 181 pages
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Fifteen years after the fall of communism, we are able to appraise the results of the multi-faceted postcommunist transition in Central and Eastern Europe with authority.  This volume specifically addresses the fascinating area of Civil-Military relations throughout this transitional period.

The countries of the region inherited a onerous legacy in this area: their armed forces were part of the communist party-state system and most were oriented towards Cold War missions; they were large in size and supported by high levels of defence spending; and they were based on universal male conscription. Central and eastern European states have thus faced a three fold civil-military reform challenge: establishing democratic and civilian control over their armed forces; implementing organisational reform to meet the security and foreign policy demands of the new era; and redefining military bases for legitimacy in society.

This volume assesses the experiences of Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Ukraine and Russia in these areas. Collectively these countries illustrate the way in which the interaction of broadly similar postcommunist challenges and distinct national contexts have combined to produce a wide variety of different patterns of civil-military relations.

This book was previously published as a special issue of European Security.


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About the author (2006)

Timothy Edmunds is a Lecturer in Development and Security at the Department of Politics, University of Bristol

Andrew Cottey is Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Integration and a Lecturer at the Department of Government, University College Cork.

Anthony Forster is Professor of Politics and International Relations and Head of Department at the Department of Politics, University of Bristol.