This paper proposes a framework for the study of the role of armies in elite bargaining and state building. The author accepts that the institutionalisation of the army and its subordination to the political elite has proved a successful path for most western democracies, but argues that this same path may not be attractive or feasible for ruling elites in every circumstance, particularly in fragile or developmental states. The paper describes a range of alternative approaches and highlights the trade-offs implicit in each of them. The author draws on examples from a wide range of countries studied during the Centre's second phase of work, including Afghanistan, Colombia, DR Congo, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Working Paper No. 86 (series 2), London, UK; Crisis States Research Centre, 34 pp.
Working Paper 86. Double-edged Swords: armies, elite bargaining and state-making.