Wilfried von Bredow
The development of civil-military relations in Germany and its earlier political entities ( Prussia, for example) has been studied at length by historians and social scientists. Until 1945, most German authors showed principally a positive bias toward the military and its role in society and the political process. After 1945, German authors mostly joined the ranks of non-German observers of the German military, writing very critical studies about the origins, features, and consequences of German militarism.
In 1945, demilitarized Germany, divided into two states in antagonistic camps, the East-West conflict, was confronted with the need to rearm; both governments, in Bonn and East Berlin, were determined to build up basically new armed forces with fundamentally changed military-political traditions and legitimacies. This was difficult, but probably successful. One astounding empirical illustration for this hypothesis is the comparative ease with which the armed forces in Germany were completely restructured after the unification of Germany in October 1990.
This chapter concentrates on the armed forces in the Federal Republic of Germany, first describing past ordeals that were translated into West Germany's rearmament. The relations between the armed forces and the civil society were shaped to guarantee political control of the armed forces by democratic institutions, a concept described next. A discussion follows of the problems of forceful social integration of the armed forces into the civil society, with, at the end, a discussion of the changing role of Germany in the international system, in light of internal developments in civil-military relations.
In his Principles of Sociology ( 1886) Herbert Spencer distinguishes between a "militant type of society," in which "all men fit for fighting act in concert