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The Struggling State

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ISBN: 9781439912720 Year: Pages: 254 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_605457 Language: English
Publisher: Temple University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched
Subject: Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-31 11:01:22
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Following independence from Ethiopia, Eritrea’s leaders were praised for their success at building a coherent nation, but over the last two decades the government has increasingly turned to coercion particularly by forcing citizens into endless military service. The Struggling State: Teachers, Mass Militarization and the Reeducation of Eritrea is an ethnographic exploration of how citizens’ redefined their relationship with the nation in response to the state’s increased authoritarianism and use of force. Extremes of coercion and control led Eritreans’ to imagine the once-heroic ruling party as turning against them, which, in turn unraveled the legitimacy of state-produced imaginaries of the nation. The book focuses on teachers, who were situated to do the work of hyphenating, or gluing, nation to state but instead had to navigate between their devotion to educating the nation and their discontent with their role in the government program of mass militarization. As teachers confronted their own conflicted imaginaries of the state and questioned what it meant to be Eritrean, they reeducated the nation, but not necessarily in the way the government wanted them to. This title was made Open Access by libraries from around the world through Knowledge Unlatched.

The "Democratic Soldier"

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Book Series: SSR Papers ISBN: 9781911529361 Year: Pages: 64 DOI: 10.5334/bbt Language: English
Publisher: Ubiquity Press
Subject: Sociology --- Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-05 11:21:04
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Since the end of the Cold War almost all European countries have reformed their armed forces, focusing on downsizing, internationalization and professionalization. This paper examines how these changes in security sector governance have affected the normative model underlying the military’s relationship to democracy, using the image of the “democratic soldier”. Drawing on a comparative analysis of 12 post-socialist, traditional and consolidated democracies in Europe, the different dimensions of the national conception of soldiering are analysed based on the official norms that define a country’s military and the ways in which individual members of the armed forces see their role. Cases converge around the new idea of professional soldiering as a merging of civilian skills with military virtues in the context of the military’s new post-Cold War missions. Yet despite this convergence, research also shows that specific aspects of national traditions and context continue to influence the actual practice of soldiering in each case. The contradictions that result between these old and new visions of the role of the military and the soldier illustrate the tensions that exist between political goals and defence reform dynamics.

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