17.584 | Spring 2003 | Graduate
Civil-Military Relations


Assignments and Requirements

  1. As the course is a seminar, class attendance and participation are critical and required.

  2. The major requirement is a comparative research paper (20-30 pages long). In this paper, students must systematically compare civilian control mechanisms (or their absence) across at least two countries. During the course, we will identify and specify a range of ways in which civilians may maintain control over the military. These mechanisms will include the use of constitutional and legal controls, parallel civilian hierarchies, divide and rule policies, the creation of a mass civilian army that reflects the values of the citizenry, the formation of a highly professionalized military that will not wish to expand outside of its basic mission, centralizing or decentralizing command, among others. In the research paper, students will use the comparative method to isolate the effects of one or several of these control mechanisms. We will discuss the use of the comparative method and design issues during the course.

  3. Students will also be required to make oral presentations. Much of the course rotates around case studies (the United States, the U.S.S.R., Turkey and Pakistan, Japan, Latin America, and Africa). Each student will do a presentation in class on the control mechanisms present and absent in a particular case. Optimally, this case will form the foundation for the comparative research paper.

  4. Short position papers, no more than two pages in length, may be assigned during the first and last sections of the course.

Course Info
As Taught In
Spring 2003