Abstract

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.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2019

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Powell, Jonathan

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs

Degree Program

Political Science

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0007784

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0007784

Language

English

Release Date

December 2019

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until December 2019; it will then be open access.

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