The civilianization of government is often seen as a necessary prerequisite for successful democratization and healthy civil-military relations. This thesis explores the impact of integrating the military into political decision-making on the distribution of "guns" and "butter" – military spending and social spending - across dictatorships and democracies. Whereas a general consensus suggests that autocracies allocate greater goods to the military and fewer goods to the general public relative to democracies, an understudied variable is the military's integration into politics in both democracies and autocracies. Given that military elites have greater incentives relative to civilian elites to prioritize military spending over social spending, I expect that integrating officers into politics should yield greater military outlays and fewer social outlays relative to more civilianized regimes, democratic or otherwise. Drawing on a number of theories concerning contentious civil-military relations, I frame this process of integration and its subsequent consequence as part of a broader means to ameliorate commitment issues between leaders and the armed forces. Specifically, I view power-sharing with military elites as a potential tool democrats and dictators may use to ensure the loyalty of the armed forces and mitigate the threat of defection or a coup d'etat. I test my arguments using data on the proportion of national cabinet positions held by military officers across 138 countries between 1964-2008. Offering some support for my expectations, this thesis highlights the necessity of fine-tuned data to explore civil-military processes and reasserts that the military may influence politics across multiple regime settings and outside of overtly ruling the country.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Ben Hammou, Salah, "More Guns, Less Butter, and Officers at the Table: Understanding the Nexus between the Military's Integration into Politics and Resource Allocation in Democracies and Non-Democracies" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6759.