Download The Transition to Democracy in Latin America: The Role of by Bruce W. Farcau PDF

By Bruce W. Farcau

This e-book examines the position of the army within the wave of democratization that has swept via Latin the USA some time past decade. even though a lot of the major literature at the transition to democracy acknowledges the significance of hardline and softline factions in the army during this strategy, the writer takes this research one step additional to enquire the motivations of the army officials themselves. utilizing the instances of Brazil and Bolivia, and hoping on dozens of interviews with army officials, politicians, jurists, and different observers all through Latin the United States, he determines that the factions' attitudes don't count totally on ideological dedication yet at the leaders' calculation, as to the profession advantages to their fans of both helping or opposing democratization. by way of coverage making, you will need to realize this contrast for you to support shield the delicate democracies that are already below hazard from the army once more.

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Additional info for The Transition to Democracy in Latin America: The Role of the Military

Sample text

Just as I have argued that military factions will often engineer coups d’état to secure their dominance of the military institution in Latin American countries, I believe that these same factions will either support or oppose democratization of a military regime with a view toward their own advantage within the military institution rather than out of a basic ideological commitment for or against democracy. This is not to say that individual officers do not have sincere personal beliefs to which they are attached, but the examples I will draw illustrate a significant consistency in the composition of factions, regardless of the existence of a move toward democracy, and a willingness of factions to switch from one side to the other of the democratization issue depending upon the immediate benefits to be derived by their group (although individual members may, indeed, drop out as a result of such a shift).

Still they, and most of the other writers in this field, seem to assume that the positions taken by all political actors, and by the military in particular as the most significant of these actors, had their genesis in the decision to move toward democracy and relate only to that process. It is my view that, just as I argued in The Coup, the rivalry between military factions for dominance of the armed forces had much to do with the coup d’etat, which was often just an extension of that conflict.

Apart from the near universality of military rule in the region, what was most disturbing about these events was that the regimes that were created seemed to differ fundamentally from the military governments which had often enough sprung up throughout the hemisphere. 4 The policy of this type of military government would be relatively limited in scope to the exclusion of the objectionable candidate or political party and the rapid holding of new elections under rules that would ensure the election of an acceptable new civilian government.

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