The Political Role of the Military: An International Handbook

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

UNITED KINGDOM

Diddy R. M. Hitchins and William A. Jacobs

On Guy Fawkes Day, 1688, the Prince of Orange dropped anchor in Torbay and began to disembark a small invasion force of no more than fifteen thousand men. James II, the English king whom the prince had come to depose, moved against the invader with an army almost twice as large. Within days, several hundred of his officers, including John Churchill (later the Duke of Marlborough), defected to the Dutchman, and the royal army rapidly fell apart. James ultimately fled the country to a safe haven in France, and the prince and his wife ascended the English throne as joint sovereigns in what we now recognize as a constitutional monarchy. These events laid a considerable part of the foundations of the modern British political system; they also constitute the last successful invasion of the British Isles and the last direct intervention of the military1 intended to displace a government in British politics.

The absence of that kind of intervention is the most striking characteristic of civil-military relations in the United Kingdom, so striking that it serves as a prime example of civilian control of the military.2 The tradition of civil supremacy is so well established that one writer has described the British military in a memorable phrase as "invincibly subordinate."3 This tradition is all the more remarkable considering the long span of time over which it has been maintained. Almost every institution involved in relations between the armed forces, the government they serve, and the larger society has changed fundamentally-- some several times--since the late seventeenth century. So stable has been the system of civil-military relations that, until the revival of mob action and terrorism in Northern Ireland in 1969, the academic literature on the subject was marked by what one writer has called a "deafening silence."4

The "Troubles" in Ulster display another important aspect of civil-military relations: the use of armed forces to repress civil disorder, a function known in Britain as Military Aid to the Civil Power (MACP). Magistrates called out the army on numerous occasions in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but

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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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