OTHER SOCIAL ISSUES

Conscription and Democracy: The Mythology of Civil— Military Relations

Article

This article discusses the relationship between conscription and democracy, in a general sense and with reference to the German case.  The conflation of democratic citizenship with conscription is linked to tensions with individual liberty and equality before the law.

Abstract

The assumption of a mutually conditional relationship between democracy and conscription is a persistent aspect of the debate on civil—military relations. This article discusses the relationship between conscription and democracy, in a general sense and with reference to the German case. Following a review of conventional motives for conscription, it proceeds to discuss the relationship between conscription and democracy in terms of empirical coincidence and as a means of subjective military control. Continued assertion of an innate democracy—conscription nexus is found to be at variance with the evidence while retaining some influence over the ongoing debate on conscription. The conflation of democratic citizenship with conscription is linked to tensions with individual liberty and equality before the law.

Full Reference

Pfaffenzeller, S. 2010. Conscription and Democracy: The Mythology of Civil— Military Relations Armed Forces and Society. 36:3, 481-504