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Military Politics and Democracy in the Andes

Maiah Jaskoski

Publication Year: 2013

Military Politics and Democracy in the Andes challenges conventional theories regarding military behavior in post-transition democracies. Through a deeply researched comparative analysis of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian armies, Maiah Jaskoski argues that militaries are concerned more with the predictability of their missions than with sovereignty objectives set by democratically elected leaders. Jaskoski gathers data from interviews with public officials, private sector representatives, journalists, and more than 160 Peruvian and Ecuadorian officers from all branches of the military. The results are surprising. Ecuador’s army, for example, fearing the uncertainty of border defense against insurgent encroachment in the north, neglected this duty, thereby sacrificing the state’s security goals, acting against government orders, and challenging democratic consolidation. Instead of defending the border, the army has opted to carry out policing functions within Ecuador, such as combating the drug trade. Additionally, by ignoring its duty to defend sovereignty, the army is available to contract out its policing services to paying, private companies that, relative to the public, benefit disproportionately from army security. Jaskoski also looks briefly at this theory's implications for military responsiveness to government orders in democratic Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela, and in newly formed democracies more broadly.

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

I am grateful to the many individuals and institutions that helped with this project. The study began nearly nine years ago as a dissertation prospectus at the University of California, Berkeley, where my committee was highly supportive of the research. Ruth Berins Collier was a phenomenal guide on my journey ...

Acronyms and Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xvi

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1. Military Mission Performance in Latin America

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pp. 1-22

Since military rule gave way to democracy in Latin America, the region’s armed forces have been assigned missions that range from border defense to counterinsurgency to antinarcotics to protest control. With these orders in hand, militaries have prioritized some missions over others and refused to perform certain assignments altogether. ...

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2. Civil-Military Relations in Democratic Peru and Ecuador

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pp. 23-36

An examination of civil-military relations in Peru and Ecuador since the transition to democracy is a crucial starting point for this analysis of the armies’ mission performance. In this chapter, I show how civil-military dynamics have fostered the emergence of a contradiction in each army’s sovereignty mission. ...

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3. Army Mission Performance in Post-Transition Peru and Ecuador, 1980s–1990s

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pp. 37-57

In the first two decades of democracy, the different civil-military dynamics in Peru and Ecuador played out vividly in army mission performance. In spite of both armies’ clear preference for sovereignty work—as predicted by hypotheses focused on military interests in professionalism, resources, and public legitimacy—in each country, ...

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4. Mission Constraint and Neglect of Counterinsurgency: Peru since 2000

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pp. 58-114

Reminiscent of its behavior in the late 1980s, Peru’s army underperformed its counterinsurgency mission during 2000–2007 in response to what officers thought was a government-created contradiction in that mission: the army had a mandate to eliminate the guerrillas but lacked the autonomy that army leaders deemed necessary to do the work. ...

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5. Mission Overload and Neglect of Border Defense: Ecuador since 2000

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pp. 115-164

Like the Peruvian army from 2000 through 2007, since 2000, the Ecuadorian army has minimally performed its only salient sovereignty mission: in this case, to defend the country’s northern border against incursions by Colombian guerrillas. Chapter 3 analyzed how the army’s limited northern border patrols date to the mid-1980s, ...

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6. Battalions for Hire: Private Army Contracts in Peru and Ecuador

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pp. 165-183

In this chapter, the discussion shifts from explaining how much sovereignty and police work the armies of Peru and Ecuador have carried out to the question of who benefits from those missions, with a focus on the post-2000 period. In each country, actors other than the national government—especially private companies in the extractive industries ...

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7. Comparative Perspectives on Military Mission Performance

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pp. 184-206

The research presented in this book on the Peruvian and Ecuadorian armies challenges three expectations about military behavior in Latin American countries: that militaries act so as to maximize their budgets, that they perform missions thought to bring more public legitimacy for the institution, ...

Appendix. Field Research Methodology

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pp. 207-214


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pp. 215-248


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pp. 249-280


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pp. 281-288

E-ISBN-13: 9781421409085
E-ISBN-10: 1421409089
Print-ISBN-13: 9781421409078
Print-ISBN-10: 1421409070

Page Count: 312
Illustrations: 6 b&w illus., 2 maps
Publication Year: 2013

OCLC Number: 850179651
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Military Politics and Democracy in the Andes

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • National security -- Peru.
  • National security -- Ecuador.
  • Peru -- Military policy.
  • Ecuador -- Military policy.
  • Peru. Ejército -- Evaluation.
  • Ecuador. Ejército -- Evaluation.
  • Internal security -- Peru.
  • Internal security -- Ecuador.
  • Peru -- Politics and government -- 21st century.
  • Ecuador -- Politics and government -- 21st century.
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