Academic journal article Military Review

The Military and Society in the Former Eastern Bloc

Academic journal article Military Review

The Military and Society in the Former Eastern Bloc

Article excerpt

THE MILITARY AND SOCIETY IN THE FORMER EASTERN BLOC, Constantine P. Danopoulos and Daniel G. Zirker, eds., Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 1998, 232 pages, $55.00.

The Military and Society in the Former Eastern Block is a follow-up to Civil-Military Relations in the Soviet and Yugoslav Successor States (Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 1996, $75.00). The book's essays focus on specific former Easternbloc countries to evaluate progress in civil-military relations as each country moves toward democracy.

Danopoulos acknowledges that the countries face serious social, economic and political problems. He recognizes that although none are "consolidated" democracies, some are further along than others. He defines democratic consolidation as the time when "all the actors in the polity become habituated to the fact that political conflict will be resolved according to the established norms and that violations of these norms are likely to be both ineffective and costly."

In their thesis, Danopoulos and Zirker delineate a four-step process necessary for integrating the military into a society striving for democracy. The first two steps are somewhat similar-"depoliticization" and "departyization." The first term means "removing and keeping the military from everyday party politics" and discouraging it from taking public stands on political and policy issues. Departyization includes severing the military's relationship with the Communist Party and forbidding it from developing ties with another political or ideological group. …

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