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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

One Hand: Military Structure and Middle East Revolts
by Burns, Sean, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2013, 467; 3595563
Abstract (Summary)

"As goes the military, so goes the revolution." It has been stated in many ways, but it has never been clearer than in the uprisings of the Arab Spring. Whether the military backed the regime or broke from it, or whether the military itself broke in two, the behavior of the military has gone a long way to explaining the outcomes thus far. My dissertation looks at the structure of several Middle Eastern militaries and how they reacted to large popular uprisings. By looking at eight cases of popular revolt in the Middle East: the 2010 Arab Spring revolts in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Libya; the 1979 Iranian Revolution; and the 1989 Algerian uprising, I show a broad spread of military types and outcomes. Drawing on the civil-military relations and coup-proofing literature, I have constructed a six-feature measure of military institutionalization and professionalism. The measures are: representativeness, coherence (versus factionalism), bureaucracy, subordination, expertise, and external orientation. Using this six-feature scale of professionalism, I show how the military structure led to the military's response, from Tunisia's independent and professional military handing over power, to the Shah's expert, but organizationally weak military collapsing and leading the way toward revolution. I also look at how international factors play into military behavior and the international reaction. In doing so, I believe we can improve our insight into civil-military relations, particularly in non-democracies, as well as our understanding of how militaries will act in the face of massive protests and the prospects for democratization.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reno, William S.
Commitee: Pearlman, Wendy R., Riedl, Rachel B.
School: Northwestern University
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Middle Eastern Studies, North African Studies, Political science, Military studies
Keywords: Arab Spring, Civil-military relations, Democratization, Military structure, Revolution
Publication Number: 3595563
ISBN: 978-1-303-41400-8
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