From apartheid to democracy: the civil-military relations in the Republic of South Africa
Burchert, Thomas H.
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This thesis analyzes the civil-military relations in the Republic of South Africa as of the end of apartheid. The analysis is based on the theoretical framework of Charles Moskos et al. Based on the development of the civil-military relations in the US as of the end of the Cold War, the Moskos paradigm uses a number of case studies such as those of the UK, France or Germany to confirm the US patterns and uses the paradigm to predict the development of the civil-military relations in Western type democracies. The basic argument is that a change in the international security environment such as the end of the Cold War and the balance of power has had implications on the perceived threat and consequently on the military's mission, force structure, the dominant military professional, and the allocated budget. These changes have also resulted in a change of the military's values and norms. Whereas formerly the politics and society were willing to accept that the military had its own unique values and norms because of the requirement to serve a presumed higher good, this no longer is the case. Moskos uses factors such as the changed relationship between the military and the media, the change in the public attitude toward the military, or the role of women and homosexuals in the military to show how the values and norms of the military are changing and how these changes are closing the gap between civilian society and the military. With regard to South Africa, the thesis will show that the civilmilitary relation has developed along the lines of the postmodern paradigm. However, the newly elected democratic government was challenged by the need to conduct a balanced transformation in which the South African Defense Force simultaneously had to build an institution that is transparent, accountable and representative of the societal demographics. Furthermore, the Department of Defence had to incorporate eight former statutory and non-statutory armies, guerillas, and African revolutionaries into one force and at the same time reduce the total number of soldiers and all this with a reduced budget in order to allow for social reconstruction and development. Additionally and contrary to the postmodern paradigm, the transformation of the South African National Defense Force and the civil-military relations are not only shaped by external factors but to a large degree by domestic issues such as the rate of poverty, distribution of wealth, crime or HIV/AIDS.
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