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Civil–Military Relations in Asia
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This book explores civil-military relations in Asia. With chapters on individual countries in the region, it provides a comprehensive account of the range of contemporary Asian practices under conditions of abridged democracy, soft authoritarianism or complete totalitarianism.

Through its analysis, the book argues that civil-military relations in Asia ought to be examined under the concept of ‘Asian military evolutions.’ It demonstrates that while Asian militaries have tried to incorporate standard, western-derived frameworks of civil-military relations, it has been necessary to adapt such frameworks to suit local circumstances. The book reveals how this has in turn led to creative fusions and novel changes in making civil-military relations an asset to furthering national security objectives.

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This closing chapter attempts to plumb an Asian contribution to civil–military relations by revisiting the research questions set out in Chapter 1. Chiefly, the idea of melding civilian progress and material well-being in a defence statement is an Asian formulation that echoes across the 13 country studies in this book. Three big themes emerge: the enduring impact of colonialism by foreign powers and other legacies of the past, civil–military fusion and its links to development and political guardianship of the nascent modern Asian state and lastly, civil–military relations and its connection with defence diplomacy and MOOTW. Asian military evolutions are revealing of cumulative and synthetic slow-motion phenomena unfolding across the region’s politico-security landscape, but it will prove rewarding to study them if one does not always associate the Asian military in stark formations like authoritarianism versus democracy.

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This book explores civil-military relations in Asia. With chapters on individual countries in the region, it provides a comprehensive account of the range of contemporary Asian practices under conditions of abridged democracy, soft authoritarianism or complete totalitarianism. Through its analysis, the book argues that civil-military relations in Asia ought to be examined under the concept of ‘Asian military evolutions’. It demonstrates that while Asian militaries have tried to incorporate standard, Western-derived frameworks of civil-military relations, it has been necessary to adapt such frameworks to suit local circumstances. The book reveals how this has in turn led to creative fusions and novel changes in making civil-military relations an asset to furthering national security objectives.

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This book explores civil-military relations in Asia. With chapters on individual countries in the region, it provides a comprehensive account of the range of contemporary Asian practices under conditions of abridged democracy, soft authoritarianism or complete totalitarianism. Through its analysis, the book argues that civil-military relations in Asia ought to be examined under the concept of ‘Asian military evolutions’. It demonstrates that while Asian militaries have tried to incorporate standard, Western-derived frameworks of civil-military relations, it has been necessary to adapt such frameworks to suit local circumstances. The book reveals how this has in turn led to creative fusions and novel changes in making civil-military relations an asset to furthering national security objectives.

Restricted access

This book explores civil-military relations in Asia. With chapters on individual countries in the region, it provides a comprehensive account of the range of contemporary Asian practices under conditions of abridged democracy, soft authoritarianism or complete totalitarianism. Through its analysis, the book argues that civil-military relations in Asia ought to be examined under the concept of ‘Asian military evolutions’. It demonstrates that while Asian militaries have tried to incorporate standard, Western-derived frameworks of civil-military relations, it has been necessary to adapt such frameworks to suit local circumstances. The book reveals how this has in turn led to creative fusions and novel changes in making civil-military relations an asset to furthering national security objectives.

Restricted access
Authors: and

This book explores civil-military relations in Asia. With chapters on individual countries in the region, it provides a comprehensive account of the range of contemporary Asian practices under conditions of abridged democracy, soft authoritarianism or complete totalitarianism. Through its analysis, the book argues that civil-military relations in Asia ought to be examined under the concept of ‘Asian military evolutions’. It demonstrates that while Asian militaries have tried to incorporate standard, Western-derived frameworks of civil-military relations, it has been necessary to adapt such frameworks to suit local circumstances. The book reveals how this has in turn led to creative fusions and novel changes in making civil-military relations an asset to furthering national security objectives.

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Authors: and

South Korea is not completely distinct in its practice of civil–military relations from the rest of Asia. As we argue in this chapter, the tussle over democracy in civil–military relations is more a symptom than a primary explanatory framework for South Korea. This is in view of the heavy social, psychological and ideological burdens imposed by the legacies of Japanese colonialism, as well as the panicked improvisation of the South Korean economic growth strategies that started under General Park Chung-hee’s direction between 1961 and 1979. Today, the failure to fully civilianize, or better yet, to fully liberalize, remains endemic to the South Korean political system. The threat from North Korea serves as a political prop for authoritarian elites. In short, South Korea’s current political stability was attained at a cost and its economic powerhouse status achieved through compromises arbitered by military rule and justified against a geopolitical environment of exaggerated insecurity.

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