Civil-Military Relations and Nuclearization of India and Pakistan

By Khan, Zillur R. | World Affairs, Summer 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Civil-Military Relations and Nuclearization of India and Pakistan


Khan, Zillur R., World Affairs


Research on the evolving power relations between civil societies and military institutions in different cultures has shown interesting patterns of interaction having a common characteristic. It relates to what Janowitz calls the mark of sovereignty, which denotes the role of military as defender of national sovereignty, covering a broad spectrum of civil-military relations ranging from minimal involvement to active participation in revolutionary movements, from military praetorianism to military intervention, from veto or dual rule to complete takeover, from caretaker to quasi-civilianized regime in its own right (Janowitz 1964, 5-7; Perlmutter 1977, 9; Finer 1988, 149-67; Clapham and Philip 1985, 8-11; Sivard 1989, 21-22). An equally important degree of commonality exists in the justification by military leaders in different cultures for takeovers of civilian government.

Military leadership is not culture bound in its justification for takeovers of civilian governments in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Most countries that succumbed to military rule after transition from colonial rule to independent nation states faced corruption, instability, and mismanagement. Samuel Huntington finds that "the most important causes of military intervention in politics are not military but political and reflect not the social and organizational characteristics of the military establishment, but the political and institutional structure of the society" (1968, 194, 196). In clarifying the power relationship between civil societies and military institutions, Huntington suggests that the stronger a civil society, at least economically, the less likely the military is to intervene in the civilian government. Whether the same or a similar hypothesis applies to civil-military relations in less-developed nuclear states such as India and Pakistan needs to be assessed.

The more politically mature a civil society the less chance that the military will try to intervene for reform (Perlmutter 1977, 9). The absence or weakness of strong political institutions often tempts the military to expand its involvement in the civil society from a transit regime into a more permanent civilianized regime by building a mass base of popular support (Huntington 1968, 194; Welch 1976, 35). The military leadership often uses referenda, manipulated elections, the electoral college, a new political party, or an existing political party to legitimize its rule (Janowitz 1962, 63-67; Finer 1988, 221).

In this article, I will examine how India, a less developed country, has not only been able to avoid having the military expand its control to the civil society but has instilled the value of civilian supremacy in national security policymaking, planning, and implementation. Because India frequently uses its military to aid the civil administration in crisis situations, from controlling internal insurgencies to electoral violence, keeping the military under civilian control becomes a remarkable feat.

The military leadership of Pakistan, on the other hand, has followed Field Marshal Ayub Khan's usurper-caretaker model, with an effective organization requiring the least physical force for takeover of civilian governments from time to time. Ayub's legitimizing strategies involved a referendum, a limited election, a new constitution, and the use of a faction of a major political party as a political anchor. Military leaders of Pakistan seem to emulate--wittingly or not--the Kemalist model of legitimization without its secularist core. Although military leaders floated new political parties for legitimization, they shied away from following Kemal Ataturk's constitutional secularism. Instead, political and military leaders of Pakistan have been pursuing a different ideological route by incorporating theocratic principles in the country's constitution. In India, although Hinduism is a powerful ideological force, non-secularists such as Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and his Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) inner circle have made no attempt to incorporate it as a basic principle of the constitution.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Civil-Military Relations and Nuclearization of India and Pakistan
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?