The Man on Horseback: The Role of the Military in Politics by Samuel E. Finer & Jay Stanley [Finer, Samuel E. & Stanley,

By Samuel E. Finer & Jay Stanley [Finer, Samuel E. & Stanley, Jay]

The function of the army in a society increases a few matters: How a lot separation may still there be among a civil govt and its military? may still the army be absolutely subordinate to the polity? Or should still the military be allowed autonomy in an effort to offer nationwide defense? lately, the risks of army dictatorships-as have existed in nations like Panama, Chile, and Argentina-have turn into glaring. despite the fact that, constructing nations frequently lack the executive skill and societal harmony to maintain the nation functioning in an orderly and economically possible demeanour with no army intervention.

Societies, in fact, have handled the realities of those difficulties all through their histories, and the motion they've got taken at any specific time limit has trusted a variety of elements. within the "first global" of democratic international locations, the civil-military dating has been completely built-in, and certainly via most up-to-date criteria this is often visible as crucial. even if, a number of influential Western thinkers have constructed theories arguing for the separation of the army from any political or social function. Samuel Huntington, emphasised that professionalism might presuppose that the army may still intrude as low as attainable within the political sphere. Samuel E. Finer, by contrast, emphasizes executive might be effective sufficient approach to hold the civil-military dating in money, making sure that the necessity for intervention by way of the defense force in society will be minimum. on the time of the book's unique ebook, maybe on account of a post-World conflict II chilly struggle surroundings, this was once certainly not a universally authorized place. a few thought of the army to be a sound probability to a loose society. modern day post-Cold warfare setting is an acceptable time to reassess Finer's vintage argument.

The guy on Horseback remains to be a huge contribution to the examine of the military's function within the realm of politics, and may be of curiosity to scholars of political technology, govt, and the military.


The guy on Horseback is ‘old college’ in ‘new clothes.’ within the present period of renewed curiosity in civil-military kinfolk, it is very important revisit prior paintings in this very important subject. Finer’s thesis is dynamic and increases a far wanted ruckus within the civil-military debate….Indeed, the interdisciplinary nature and comparative good points of  The guy on Horseback  makes it specifically interesting and timely.”

Morten G. Ender, usa army Academy

“Stanley’s masterful creation paints a full of life portrait of Finer’s lifestyles and paintings and instructs us all at the expanding relevance of Finer’s arguments. it's going to shake the complacency of these who don't know or can't say whilst, why, and the way militaries interfere within the politics of nations they're alleged to defend.”

James Burke, Texas A&M University

About the Author

Samuel E. Finer (1915-1993) was once professor of presidency at Manchester college and Gladstone Professor of presidency and Public management at Oxford college. His released works contain the enormous The historical past of presidency from the Earliest Times.

Jay Stanley, professor of sociology at Towson collage, is a member of the advisory council of the Inter-University Seminar on militia and Society, and at the board of editors of its magazine Armed Forces & Society. he's the editor of Essays at the Garrison State, and co-editor of Challenges in army wellbeing and fitness Care, either released through Transaction.

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Additional resources for The Man on Horseback: The Role of the Military in Politics

Example text

Few of these attain to the degree of organization obtained by even the most primitive of modern armies. The Roman Catholic Church certainly displays these five features; but it is a voluntary organization which the member may enter or leave as he thinks fit; for those of tepid faith the penalties for disobedience are feeble; its segregation from the laity is much less extreme than that of officer-corps from civilians. Firms and bureaucracies may possess these five characteristics too, but, once again, they are voluntary bodies, the sanctions for indiscipline are feeble and there is no segregation, no very special code of manners or rules that have to be obeyed, and no tutelage.

For the situation prevailing in the United States between the military and the civilian authorities, see pp. 141 - 4.

For the second and cardinal weakness of the military as a political force is its lack of title to govern. Rule by force alone, or the threat of such force, is inadequate; in addition, government must possess authority. It must be widely recognized not only as the government but as the lawful, the rightful government. A government that based its rule on the fact that it was materially stronger than any other force or forces in society would prove both shortlived and ineffective. This is not 'moralizing'.

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