Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military by Peter D. Feaver

By Peter D. Feaver

How do civilians keep watch over the army? within the wake of September eleven, the renewed presence of nationwide defense in daily life has made this question all of the extra urgent. during this e-book, Peter Feaver proposes an bold new concept that treats civil-military family members as a principal-agent dating, with the civilian govt tracking the activities of army brokers, the ''armed servants'' of the geographical region. army obedience isn't really automated yet relies on strategic calculations of no matter if civilians will seize and punish misbehavior.

This version demanding situations Samuel Huntington's professionalism-based version of civil-military family, and offers an cutting edge means of constructing experience of the U.S. chilly warfare and post-Cold struggle experience--especially the distinctively stormy civil-military family of the Clinton period. within the decade after the chilly warfare ended, civilians and the army had quite a few run-ins over even if and the way to take advantage of army strength. those episodes, as interpreted by means of company idea, contradict the traditional knowledge that civil-military relatives subject provided that there's chance of a coup. to the contrary, army professionalism doesn't on its own confirm unchallenged civilian authority. As Feaver argues, service provider idea bargains the easiest origin for puzzling over relatives among army and civilian leaders, now and sooner or later.

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Extra info for Armed Servants: Agency, Oversight, and Civil-Military Relations

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The percentage of respondents saying they had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the military never dropped below 50 percent (1981) and averaged 58 percent throughout (Gallup 1991, p. 100). Furthermore, while the questions were not asked often enough to establish a firm trend, it is suggestive that the few times mass public opinion surveys asked about military influence or military culpability for failures, the responses were strongly supportive of the military against civilian leaders.

Intensity” is a simple measure of the variance of the sample across responses for a particular question and gives some sense of how intensely respondents felt about the question. The number summarizes whether most respondents tended toward the middle categories (agreeing or disagreeing only somewhat) or toward the extreme values (agreeing or disagreeing strongly) for a particular question. The formula is: (no. strongly agree + no. strongly disagree) (no. agree somewhat + no. with no opinion + no.

It is hierarchical (at least in democracies) because civilians enjoy the privileged position; civilians have legitimate authority over the military, whatever their de facto ability to control the military may be. These two features—strategic interaction and hierarchy—are the distinctive features of the principal-agent framework, an approach developed by 54 The Informal Agency Theory 55 economists to analyze problems of agency, where one person has delegated authority to someone else to act on his behalf (Alchian and Demsetz 1972, Niskanen 1971, Ross 1973, Bendor 1988).

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