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Rethinking Military Politics : Brazil and the Southern Cone - Alfred C. Stepan

Rethinking Military Politics

Brazil and the Southern Cone

Paperback Published: 21st March 1988
ISBN: 9780691022741
Number Of Pages: 188

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The last four years have seen a remarkable resurgence of democracy in the Southern Cone of the Americas. Military regimes have been replaced in Argentina (1983), Uruguay (1985), and Brazil (1985). Despite great interest in these new democracies, the role of the military in the process of transition has been under-theorized and under-researched. Alfred Stepan, one of the best-known analysts of the military in politics, examines some of the reasons for this neglect and takes a new look at themes raised in his earlier work on the state, the breakdown of democracy, and the military. The reader of this book will gain a fresh understanding of new democracies and democratic movements throughout the world and their attempts to understand and control the military. An earlier version of this book has been a controversial best seller in Brazil.


To examine the Brazilian case, the author uses a variety of new archival material and interviews, with comparative data from Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, and Spain. Brazilian military leaders had consolidated their hold on governmental power by strengthening the military-crafted intelligence services, but they eventually found these same intelligence systems to be a formidable threat. Professor Stepan explains how redemocratization occurred as the military reached into the civil sector for allies in its struggle against the growing influence of the intelligence community. He also explores dissension within the military and the continuing conflicts between the military and the civilian government.

"Alfred Stepan ... now presents what is likely to become a classic work of regime translation and the obstacles facing civilian rule in the Southern Cone. To do justice to the complexity and wealth of data and analysis presented in Rethinking Military Politicswould require more space than is available for this brief review."--Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs

Lists of Tables and Figuresp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Military Politics in Three Polity Arenas: Civil Society, Political Society, and the Statep. 3
The Brazilian Intelligence System in Comparative Perspectivep. 13
Abertura: Intra-State Conflicts and the Courtship of Civil Societyp. 30
Military Discourse and Aberturap. 45
The End of the Regime: Political Society and the Militaryp. 55
The Military in Newly Democratic Regimes: The Dimension of Military Contestationp. 68
The Military in Newly Democratic Regimes: The Dimension of Military Prerogativesp. 93
Democratic Empowerment and the Military: The Tasks of Civil Society, Political Society, and the Statep. 128
Bibliographyp. 147
Indexp. 161
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691022741
ISBN-10: 0691022747
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 188
Published: 21st March 1988
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.32 x 12.73  x 1.14
Weight (kg): 0.21