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Civilian control of the military in Portugal and Spain: a policy instruments approach

Olivas Osuna, José Javier (2012) Civilian control of the military in Portugal and Spain: a policy instruments approach. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.t38t7p0phmq0


Despite their economic, political and cultural similarities, Portugal and Spain experienced different trajectories of civil-military relations during the twentieth century. After having handed power over to a civilian dictator, Salazar, the Portuguese military eventually caused the downfall of his authoritarian Estado Novo regime and led the transition to democracy. In contrast, in Spain the military, which had helped Franco to defeat the Republic in 1939 remained loyal to the dictatorship’s principles and, after his death, obstructed the democratisation process. This research sheds light on these different patterns by comparing the policy instruments that governments used to control the military throughout Portuguese and Spanish dictatorships and transitions to democracy. First, it applies Christopher Hood’s (1983) ‘NATO’ (nodality, authority, treasure and organisation) framework for the study of tools of government in order to identify trajectories and establish comparisons across time and countries. These tools can be considered as the institutions that structure the relationship between the governments and the military. This thesis documents that the tools used in both counties differed considerably and evolved over time and that only from 1982 onwards a process of convergence can be observed. Second, this thesis contrasts two types of neo-institutional explanations for the evolution of tool choice and civil-military relations. One based on historical junctures and path-dependence (historical causes) and the other on the continuous impact of environmental factors (constant causes). is research demonstrates that both approaches are largely intertwined and to a great extent become complementary and necessary to capture complexity in tool choice. In sum, this thesis shows that dialogue and exchange between different analytical approaches contributes to a deeper understanding of multifaceted social phenomena. The utilisation of public policy analytical frameworks, such as the NATO scheme and neoinstitutionalism, provides a new angle on the evolution of civil-military relations in Portugal and Spain.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 José Javier Olivas Osuna
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Sets: Departments > Government
Supervisor: Lodge, Martin

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