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Demilitarization in the Contemporary World

Demilitarization in the Contemporary World

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 264
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  • Book Info
    Demilitarization in the Contemporary World
    Book Description:

    Contemporary world history has highlighted militarization in many ways, from the global Cold War and numerous regional conflicts to the general assumption that nationhood implies a significant and growing military. Yet the twentieth century also offers notable examples of large-scale demilitarization, both imposed and voluntary. Demilitarization in the Contemporary World fills a key gap in current historical understanding by examining demilitarization programs in Germany, Japan, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica. Contributors investigate factors such as military defeat, border security risks, economic pressures, and the development of strong peace cultures among citizenry. Exemplifying the political difficulties of demilitarization in both its failures and successes, Demilitarization in the Contemporary World provides a possible roadmap for future policies and practices.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09515-3
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)
    Peter N. Stearns

    This book highlights an important set of developments over the past several decades, unusual in world history and operating against dominant trends in the decades since World War II. The focus is on societies that, for several reasons, have deliberately undertaken a program of demilitarization, with deep consequences in public and political culture as well as statecraft. The developments have occurred in decades dominated by the arms races of the Cold War and the assumption of most governments, new and old alike, that the logics of success and security called for more, not fewer, weapons.¹ The fact that—admittedly, for...


    • 1 Demilitarization: Unraveling the Structures of Violence
      (pp. 19-34)

      Demilitarization can and should be studied from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Essays in this volume take mainly a historical approach, recounting stages in the demilitarization process in key regions along with causes of change and subsequent shifts and modifications. This essay also offers a case study—of East Germany after reunification—but it frames it in terms of a larger and interdisciplinary inquiry into what demilitarization is all about. The result is arguably a rather demanding definition, essential, however, to any thorough process, and thus a more guarded look at recent developments, specifically in the German case, than will...


    • 2 The Demilitarization of Germany, 1945–2010
      (pp. 37-59)

      The demilitarization of Germany, one of the two stated goals of Allied occupation policy in 1945, has usually been viewed as a “phase” between the end of World War II and the outbreak of hostilities on the Korean peninsula in the summer of 1950 that brought to a head the rising tensions of the Cold War. According to this view, the noble effort to eradicate National Socialism and the seemingly innate militarism of Germans evidenced in two world wars evaporated in the face of the cynical competition for power and security among two superpowers and the desire of German politicians...

    • 3 Peace Movements and the Demilitarization of German Political Culture, 1970s–1980s
      (pp. 60-86)

      The run-up to the 2003 federal elections in Germany saw massive and widespread protests against the US- and UK-led invasion of Iraq. Germany’s Social Democratic chancellor Gerhard Schröder and his Green Party foreign minister Joschka Fischer had rejected the military intervention in no uncertain terms, resulting in a significant political crisis within NATO. While these events themselves were not unique in Europe—similar demonstrations took place in other countries within a similar political constellation—they were still remarkable. They highlight Germany’s transition from “total war to total peace” in the second half of the twentieth century.¹

      This chapter analyzes the...


    • 4 Constrained Rearmament in Japan, 1945–1954: US Strategic Preference for Securing Military Bases and Impact of Japanese Financial Community
      (pp. 89-110)

      The research question in this chapter investigates what made it possible for Japan to implement “constrained rearmament” despite strong pressure domestically and from the United States to carry out rapid rearmament. Both external and internal factors are relevant. This chapter presents and verifies the hypothesis that two important factors led to Japan’s establishing firm ground for constrained rearmament from the late 1950s onward. The first of these is the US strategic preference for securing military bases in Japan instead of Japan’s rearmament. The second is the implementation of tightmoney policies precipitated by the Dodge Line of 1949, which culminated in...

    • 5 From Demilitarization to Remilitarization: External and Internal Pressures on Japanese Security Policy
      (pp. 111-126)

      The purpose of this chapter is to examine the transition from demilitarization to remilitarization following Japan’s defeat in war and foreign occupation from 1945 to 1952. Its focus is on the external and internal pressures on security policy at crucial historical junctures in the process of remilitarization. We start by revisiting the early postwar period, because it was at this time that two contested views of security policy emerged. These views revolved around the option of a security treaty with the United States, on the one hand, and unarmed neutrality, on the other. The first option gave priority to a...

    • 6 Japan’s Remilitarization and Constitutional Revision
      (pp. 127-156)

      Japan’s recent pro-activity in international security—especially since 11 September and the participation of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) in supporting the US-led “war on terror” in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, thereafter, attempts to strengthen US-Japan alliance cooperation in East Asia—has further reinvigorated the academic and policy debate on the trajectory and implications of Japan’s reemergence as a military power. This reemergence demands attention due to its carrying significant ramifications for Japan’s future role as a global security actor in conjunction with the United States and the United Nations.

      Much of the academic discussion to date has been dominated...

    • 7 Demilitarization and Democratization in the Post–World War II World
      (pp. 157-182)

      In the former Axis powers of Japan and Germany, the United States occupation authorities initially pursued policies that treated democratization and demilitarization as virtually synonymous. That democracies do not begin wars was axiomatic. In turn, they believed a democracy could not flourish in either Japan or the Federal Republic of Germany until the military traditions had been purged from their national character and consciousness. The former aggressors faced total disarmament. Initial plans—embodied most drastically by the Morgenthau Plan to turn Germany into a pastoral country—were severe and uncompromising.

      However, three major factors changed the course of those plans,...


    • 8 Militaries and Modern States: The Comparative Evidence from Costa Rica and Honduras
      (pp. 185-215)

      At the height of the Cold War and the Latin American debt crisis in 1981, US Ambassador to the United Nations Jeanne Kirkpatrick accused the battered Costa Rican president Rodrigo Carazo Odio (1978–1982) of communist subversion and informed Costa Rica that further US economic aid would be predicated on the recreation of a professional army.¹ Kirkpatrick further chided the nearly bankrupt Costa Ricans, telling them, “Costa Rica is not a viable country, because it has no military.”²

      Through the prism of recent history in Latin America, which included civil wars and military dictatorships, it may seem natural to assume...

    • 9 Demilitarization after Central American Civil Wars
      (pp. 216-246)

      Prior to the 1980s, El Salvador and Guatemala experienced little in the way of democratic development. The political dominance of the armed forces was more complete in these nations than almost anywhere else in Latin America. Military-dominated authoritarian regimes supported by conservative agro-export elites employed electoral fraud and repression to maintain power. During the 1960s and ’70s, growing political opposition, the emergence of armed guerrilla movements, and brutal repression carried out by the military and paramilitary organizations contributed to a cycle of violence in each country. Even during the 1980s, when military leaders in El Salvador and Guatemala were pressured...

  8. Afterword: Demilitarization in Contemporary World History
    (pp. 247-250)
    Peter N. Stearns

    Demilitarization is not an obviously dominant global theme since World War II, but as a significant variant and possible option, it deserves greater attention than it conventionally receives. Encouraging and facilitating that attention constitute the essential purpose of this book in bringing together various perspectives on three major cases. While most governments, the United States at their head, have continued to assume that expanding military power is a logic of contemporary statecraft, a few have turned in other directions. The interaction between demilitarization and the prevailing assumptions (and often intense American pressures) is an interesting recent historical chapter in its...

  9. Contributors
    (pp. 251-254)
  10. Index
    (pp. 255-265)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 266-266)