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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Elizabeth L. Kier
POL S 430
Seattle Campus

Civil-Military Relations in Democracies

Explores issues of civil-military relations in the United States including debates about the garrison state hypothesis; military advice on the use of force; the civil-military "gap"; and issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation in the military.

Class description

Description: Protecting a democracy from foreign threats demands the creation of a powerful military. Yet the creation of a powerful military can challenge the values that a democracy represents. How do -- and how should -- democracies manage the relationship between the civilians and the military? Mismanagement of civil-military relations can -- at its worse -- result in an ineffective military force or prompt a military coup. In exploring civilian and military perspectives, this course will address numerous issues in U.S. civil military relations including the garrison state hypothesis, the draft versus an all-volunteer force, and the recent "crisis" in civil-military relations. The course will also examine issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation in the military. U.S. civil-military relations will be the focus of the course, but students can use their papers to explore issues of civil-military relations in other democracies.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Text: Reader; Huntington, The Soldier and the State; Mershon and Schlossman, Foxholes and Color Lines: Desegregating the U. S. Armed Forces.

Class assignments and grading

Two exams, research paper, and class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Elizabeth L. Kier
Date: 02/19/2011