Democratizing Civil-Military Relations: What do Countries Legislate? Occasional Paper #7
Giraldo, Jeanne Kinney
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After a transition away from authoritarianism, one of the central challenges facing new democratic elites is redefining civil-military relations. Among other things, this means writing or revising constitutions and laws that regulate the roles, rights, and obligations of the military so that they conform to the basic democratic principles of accountability to democratically elected leaders and respect for civil liberties.1 Under the preceding non-democratic regimes, militaries were often accustomed to acting in ways that violated these principles, by operating autonomously within the defense arena, playing an important role in non-defense areas, and participating in regime violations of human rights.2 Although writing new laws designed to modify this behavior will not automatically lead to a change, it is a necessary first step.