Civil-Military relations and democratization in Guatemala
Berrios, Carlos G.
Bruneau, Thomas C.
Tollefson, Scott D.
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine civil-military relations in Guatemala and their effect on democratic consolidation. The issue of civil- military relations in Guatemala is one of particular importance as political and military leaders as well as members of civil society attempt to redefine the role of the military after 36 years of civil war. Applying Felipe Aguero's theory of civilian supremacy, this thesis argues that since 1982, the Guatemalan military has evolved into a professional military institution, becoming an essential part of the democratic state. This evolution has resulted in the development of sound civil-military relations with finn civilian control, thus impacting significantly the democratization process of the country. The stability and structure of civil-military relations in Guatemala will depend not only on the military but also on the consensus reached by all elements of civil and political society as to how best to utilize the armed forces in support of the democratic state. Currently, Guatemala does not have the institutional mechanisms by which to control the military. Nevertheless, civil-military relations are stable and the military fully supports the democratization process. Further research is recommended in order to investigate the role of the democratic institutions in Guatemala in the monitoring and implementation of defense policy.
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