Civil-Military Relations, Nation Building, and National Identity: Comparative Perspectives

Civil-Military Relations, Nation Building, and National Identity: Comparative Perspectives

Civil-Military Relations, Nation Building, and National Identity: Comparative Perspectives

Civil-Military Relations, Nation Building, and National Identity: Comparative Perspectives

Synopsis

In an increasingly complex post-Cold War world system, scholars interested in conflict and conflict resolution must consider a wider collection of variables in drawing conclusions about important security issues. This compendium features 13 original essays that explore the importance of culture and identity with respect to civil-military relations, national security, and nation building. Contributors reflect upon both theoretical and substantive issues and draw from case studies representing different regions of the world.

Excerpt

The chapters selected for this book were chosen from a series of lectures delivered at an international conference on “nationalism and national security” sponsored by the Research Committee on Armed Forces and Society of IPSA (the International Political Science Association). The conference was held at the Ben-Gurion Research Center, Sde Boker, Israel on July 13-16, 1999. The Ben-Gurion Research Center, a branch of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, documents and analyzes the heritage of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister and first defense minister between 1948 and 1963. Ben-Gurion's multifaceted activities and far-sighted thinking form an inseparable link between national vision, the establishment of the State of Israel, and a comprehensive national security concept that has enabled Israel to survive and flourish in the volatile geostrategic arena of the Middle East.

The conference theme reflects Ben-Gurion's legacy, his profound and inexhaustible involvement in Jewish nationalism, as expressed in the Zionist movement, and his overriding concern for the defense of the Jewish people from the time of the Yishuv (the prestate Jewish community in Israel) and after state-hood.The Zionist movement, in all its shades and nuances, provided a venue for guaranteeing national survival of the Jewish people and its rejuvenation on the soil of its origin. The return to the homeland and renewal of national life there were perceived as solutions to the Jewish people's eternal dilemmas. From its inception the Zionist movement, though initially lacking sovereignty, served as an instrument for dealing with the catastrophes of diaspora life that had enervated and stagnated the Jew's self-image. The internalized stereotype impeded the ability of Jewish communities for physical self-defense and the promotion of their vital in-

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