Insurgents to presidents: contemporary civil-military relations in Brazil, El Salvador, and Uruguay
Berg, John Richard
Bruneau, Thomas C.
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This thesis analyzes contemporary civil–military relations in three Latin American countries: Brazil, El Salvador, and Uruguay. Since 2010, each country has elected a president who was previously an armed insurgent resisting authoritarian regimes of the 1970s and 1980s. Considering this phenomenon, and evaluating recent trends across Latin America to expand military roles and missions, civil–military relations are assessed using a new framework. The framework, adapted from the trinity model employed by scholars at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil–military Relations, shows significant differences among the three cases and their respective degrees of positive civil–military relations; however, the specific phenomenon of electing a former insurgent to the presidency has not resulted in a significant deterioration of the relationship between the armed forces and their civilian executives. In fact, civil–military relations under ex-insurgent presidents have been improved over the last decade in each country. Ultimately, this thesis concludes that Uruguay has achieved the greatest degree of positive civil– military relations and trends are presented for consideration in improving civil–military relations across the region.
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