Conceptualising civil-military relations in emerging democracies

Aurel Croissant, David Kuehn, Paul W. Chambers, Siegfried O. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Establishing civilian control of the military is an important challenge for new democracies. Surprisingly, however, there is no established conceptual framework for understanding what civilian control entails and how exactly weak or absent civilian control impinges upon democratic quality. This article addresses these lacunae, developing a new concept of civilian control for emerging democracies. It proposes to understand civilian control as the situation in which civilians have decision-making power in all relevant political matters. Differentiating civilian control as consisting of five decision-making areas, this new concept allows for a nuanced analysis of civilian control and comparative analysis. It also provides a comprehensive framework for systematically assessing the impact of incomplete civilian control on the various dimensions of liberal democracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • civilian control
  • democracy
  • democratisation
  • military
  • strategic choices


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