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Reconsidering American Civil-Military RelationsThe Military, Society, Politics, and Modern War$
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Lionel Beehner, Risa Brooks, and Daniel Maurer

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197535493

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197535493.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 January 2022

Dissents and Sensibility

Dissents and Sensibility

Conflicting Loyalties, Democracy, and Civil-Military Relations

(p.63) 3 Dissents and Sensibility
Reconsidering American Civil-Military Relations

Michael A. Robinson

Lindsay P. Cohn

Max Z. Margulies

Oxford University Press

The architecture of objective control has informed a great deal of the development of civil-military norms and the professional education of military officer corps, particularly in the democratic West. But while this idealized vision of civil-military relations has been influential, it is incomplete in its accounting of the moral, ethical, legal, and political structures surrounding the military service member. In practical terms, it is not a simple task to divide problems into purely military and purely political aspects, nor is it easy to determine how to reconcile conflicting imperatives. This chapter attempts to provide a comprehensive typology of the various loyalty structures within which military personnel are located and the various ways in which these structures can conflict. It discusses how democratic theory and classical principal-agent models may prescribe different outcomes for such conflicts and provide a granular understanding of the sources of civil-military friction.

Keywords:   objective control, Samuel Huntington, military professionalism, coups, dissent, ethics

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