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Demilitarization in the Contemporary World

Peter Stearns

Publication Year: 2013

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.

Published by: University of Illinois Press


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pp. C-ii


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pp. iii-iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. 1-16

... 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. ...

Section I Historical and Sociological Perspectives

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1 Demilitarization: Unraveling the Structures of Violence

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pp. 19-34

... Demilitarization can and should be studied from a variety of disci-plinary 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 ...

Section II Germany

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2 The Demilitarization of Germany, 1945–2010

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pp. 37-59

... The demilitarization of Germany, one of the two stated goals of Al-lied 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 pen-insula 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 ...

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3 Peace Movements and the Demilitarization of German Political Culture, 1970s–1980s

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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. Ger-many?s Social Democratic chancellor Gerhard Schr?der 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 ...

Section III Japan

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4 Constrained Rearmament in Japan, 1945–1954

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pp. 89-110

... The research question in this chapter investigates what made it pos-sible for Japan to implement ?constrained rearmament? despite strong pres-sure 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 ...

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5 From Demilitarization to Remilitarization

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pp. 111-126

... The purpose of this chapter is to examine the transition from de-militarization to remilitarization following Japan?s defeat in war and foreign occupation from 1945 to 1952. Its focus is on the external and internal pres-sures on security policy at crucial historical junctures in the process of remili-tarization. We start by revisiting the early postwar period, because it was at ...

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6 Japan's Remilitarization and Constitutional Revision

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pp. 127-156

Japan?s recent pro-activity in international security?especially since 11 Sep-tember and the participation of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) in supporting the US-led ?war on terror? in Afghanistan and Iraq, and, there-after, attempts to strengthen US-Japan alliance cooperation in East Asia?has further reinvigorated the academic and policy debate on the trajectory and ...

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7 Demilitarization and Democratization in the Post–World War II World

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pp. 157-182

... In the former Axis powers of Japan and Germany, the United States occupation authorities initially pursued policies that treated democratiza-tion 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 ...

Section IV Central America

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8 Militaries and Modern States

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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 com-munist subversion and informed Costa Rica that further US economic aid would be predicated on the recreation of a professional army.1 Kirkpatrick ...

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9 Demilitarization after Central American Civil Wars

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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 ...

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pp. 247-250

... 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 facilitat-ing that attention constitute the essential purpose of this book in bringing together various perspectives on three major cases. While most governments, ...


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pp. 251-254


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pp. 255-266

E-ISBN-13: 9780252095153
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252037894

Page Count: 264
Publication Year: 2013