Fighting for Rights
Military Service and the Politcs of Citizenship
Publication Year: 2006
Leaders around the globe have long turned to the armed forces as a "school for the nation." Debates over who serves continue to arouse passion today because the military's participation policies are seen as shaping politics beyond the military, specifically the politics of identity and citizenship. Yet how and when do these policies transform patterns of citizenship? Military service, Ronald R. Krebs argues, can play a critical role in bolstering minorities' efforts to grasp full and unfettered rights. Minority groups have at times effectively contrasted their people's battlefield sacrifices to the reality of inequity, compelling state leaders to concede to their claims. At the same time, military service can shape when, for what, and how minorities have engaged in political activism in the quest for meaningful citizenship.
Employing a range of rich primary materials, Krebs shows how the military's participation policies shaped Arab citizens' struggles for first-class citizenship in Israel from independence to the mid-1980s and African Americans' quest for civil rights, from World War I to the Korean War. Fighting for Rights helps us make sense of contemporary debates over gays in the military and over the virtues and dangers of liberal and communitarian visions for society. It suggests that rhetoric is more than just a weapon of the weak, that it is essential to political exchange, and that politics rests on a dual foundation of rationality and culture.
Published by: Cornell University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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This book is about militaries and about minorities, but ultimately it is aboutcommunities. Political communities often establish high barriers to entry, tonurture the mutual trust that sustains exchange and to ensure that member-ship remains valuable and desirable. Intellectual communities, however, re-quire a different mix. They thrive only when the barriers to entry are low and...
Archival Sources and Abbreviations
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Chapter 1A School for the Nation?
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An ideological world and over half a century apart, Theodore Rooseveltand Leonid Brezhnev had little in common, but both proclaimed the socialvirtues of military service. Roosevelt and his fellow Progressives hoped thatmilitary training would “Americanize” the mass of newcomers who had re-cently landed on their country’s shores.1 Brezhnev similarly believed that ser-...
Chapter 2The Power of Military Service
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Statesmen and scholars alike have long asserted that the military exerts apowerful impact on the surrounding political community—not only throughits intervention in domestic politics or its performance in war but also byvirtue of its internal design, specifically its manpower or participation policy.This claim has often been treated as an article of faith, rather than as a propo-...
Part IThe IDF and the Making of Israel
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On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the longtime head of the Jewish Agency,proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel.1 This was to be not just apolitical entity with a Jewish majority or a haven for oppressed Jews but, inthe words of the new state’s Declaration of Independence, a Jewish state. Itssoul was forged in the pogroms of Eastern Europe and Russia and was fur-...
Chapter 3Confronting a Land with People
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It was hardly inevitable that the Druze would carve out a distinctive pathtoward citizenship, separate from their fellow Arabs, in the new state of Is-rael. The Druze had long exhibited particularistic tendencies, but there wasno “natural” alliance between the Zionists and the Druze. It is true that theDruze did not, by and large, join in either the Arab Revolt of the late 1930s or...
Chapter 4Two Roads to Jerusalem
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The newly formed State of Israel and its Arab citizens eyed each other war-ily after 1948. The young state was surrounded by adversaries, and it doubtedthe loyalty of nearly one-fifth of its population. During the war, the IDF hadproven itself, but it remained undermanned, undertrained, and under-equipped. Conscripting Arab youth would alleviate the manpower shortage,...
Chapter 5Military Rites, Citizenship Rights,and Republican Rhetoric
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Long neglected and often manipulated, Christian and Muslim citizensmade some headway in the 1980s because they controlled a critical asset:votes. After the Likud unseated Labor in 1977, the Jewish Israeli electoratewas severely divided. By the early 1980s, the mainstream Zionist parties werefor the first time competing intensely over this last remaining bloc of uncom-...
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Israel undoubtedly remains a Jewish state in the deepest sense of theword.1 Its central symbols—from the menorah that is the state’s official em-blem to the Star (or Shield) of David that is pictured on the national flag to“Ha-Tikvah” (The Hope) that serves as the national anthem—are drawn fromand speak to the heritage of the Jewish people. To be an Arab in Israel is nec-...
Part IIThe Perpetual Dilemma
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As the U.S. Civil War came to a close, black and white Americans alike rec-ognized that their relations had been radically reshaped by the war and, morespecifically, by blacks’ service in the Union army. In 1864 one U.S. senator ob-served that the “logical result” of blacks’ military role was that “the black manis henceforth to assume a new status among us.” A black delegate to the 1868...
Chapter 6Great War, Great Hopes, and the Perilsof Closing Ranks
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Woodrow Wilson’s election in 1912 marked the return of the South to the cen-ter stage of American politics. Born in Virginia and raised in Georgia, Wilsonhad been president of Princeton University, a bastion of the Southern elites,and he counted four Southerners among his closest advisers. Although Wil-son had early on identified more closely with the Union than with his native...
Chapter 7Good War, Cold War, and the Limitsof Liberalism
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What E. H. Carr famously called the “twenty years’ crisis” ended in Sep-tember 1939.1 Europe was again at war, and it would not be long before theUnited States intervened in that conflict and before the building tensions withJapan came to a head. World War II was a defining experience for Americans.With its truly global stage, greater military commitment, deeper state pene-...
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With the intense passions of the Civil War swiftly receding, and with nu-merous voices calling for sectional reconciliation and for equal honor to be be-stowed on both sides’ soldiers, Frederick Douglass was livid. Just six yearsafter the war’s conclusion, in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, heprotested that he was “no minister of malice,” but he nonetheless swore “may...
Chapter 8Unusual Duties, Usual Rights: Soldieringand Citizenship
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Since Bill Clinton’s first days in the Oval Office, the question of whethergays should be permitted to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces has peri-odically roiled the American political scene. On the surface, the debate haspivoted on claims about the effects of sexual orientation on unit cohesion andof cohesion on combat effectiveness.1 That much was relatively predictable....
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Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2006
Series Title: Cornell Studies in Security Affairs