The Political Role of the Military: An International Handbook

By Constantine P. Danopoulos; Cynthia Watson | Go to book overview

Table 1 Popular Perceptions of Poland's Government and Social Institutions
ApprovalDisapproval
Institutions10/915/929/9410/915/929/94
President46%36%25%43%52%64%
Cabinet393242485338
Sejm343039546045
Senat362934495343
Armed Forces75687410129
Catholic Church644845254445

the wounds of the newly established democratic political institutions. The Catholic Church's drop in popularity is connected to its fundamentalist policies, particularly to force highly repressive anti-abortion legislation on an unwilling public. When the popularity of other institutions goes down, that of the military remains high.

As long as there is no direct clash between the military and the civilian authorities, the present situation should cause no alarm. But the state of public opinion in Poland will likely work against democratic institutions if they get involved in a conflict with the military. Poles do not favor a military regime. Neither do the military officers. However, dangers to the stability of democratic arrangements usually come more from the failures of democracy than from the manifest will of soldiers for political power. It is, therefore, particularly important for Poland, as well as the other young democracies, to find solid and workable arrangements in the area of civil-military relations. If economic transformation fails and the present civil-military arrangement comes under stress, the military may once again be pushed to assume a more prominent political role. To this author's way of thinking, if such a scenario ever materializes, it will be because of the inability of the civilians to solve Poland's problems, rather than because of the military officers' desire for political power.


NOTES
1.
Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), pp. 231-53.
2.
Alfred Stepan, Rethinking Military Politics: Brazil and the Southern Cone (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988), p. x.
3.
For analyses of civil-military relations in Poland before World War II, see in particular Andrzej Korbonski, "Civil-Military Relations in Poland between the Wars, 1918-1939", Armed Forces and Society 14, no. 2 ( 1988): 169-89; Joseph Rothschild, Pilsudski's Coup d'Etat ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1961); Jerzy J. Wiatr,

-371-

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The Political Role of the Military: An International Handbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Argentina 1
  • Notes 16
  • References 17
  • Brazil 19
  • Notes 34
  • References 41
  • Canada 42
  • Notes 53
  • References 54
  • China 55
  • Notes 67
  • References 70
  • Cuba 71
  • Notes 84
  • References 86
  • Denmark 88
  • Notes 100
  • References 105
  • Egypt 107
  • Notes 118
  • References 121
  • France 122
  • References 141
  • Germany 143
  • Notes 152
  • References 153
  • Greece 154
  • Notes 167
  • References 168
  • India 169
  • Notes 186
  • References 188
  • Indonesia 189
  • Notes 205
  • References 206
  • Iran 207
  • Israel 223
  • Notes 233
  • References 234
  • Japan 235
  • Notes 252
  • References 255
  • Kenya 256
  • Notes 269
  • References 270
  • Mexico 271
  • Notes 281
  • References 282
  • Netherlands 283
  • Notes 295
  • References 297
  • Nigeria 299
  • Notes 320
  • References 322
  • North Korea 323
  • Notes 335
  • References 337
  • Peru 338
  • Notes 355
  • References 360
  • Poland 361
  • Notes 371
  • References 373
  • Republic of South Africa 374
  • Notes 387
  • References 390
  • Russia and the Former Soviet Union 391
  • Notes 401
  • References 403
  • United Kingdom 404
  • Notes 415
  • United States 420
  • Notes 437
  • References 439
  • Zaire 440
  • Notes 456
  • References 458
  • Index 459
  • CONTRIBUTORS 515
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