The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations / Edition 1

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In a classic work, Samuel P. Huntington challenges most of the old assumptions and ideas on the role of the military in society. Stressing the value of the military outlook for American national policy, Huntington has performed the distinctive task of developing a general theory of civil-military relations and subjecting it to rigorous historical analysis.

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Editorial Reviews

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
The problem of civil–military relations is of critical importance in American affairs… Huntington establishes his basic propositions, formulates his theoretical framework, and analyzes historical and contemporary developments in the United States and abroad with skill and insight. The clarity and precision with which the book moves forward make it a delight to read.
American Political Science Review
The book contains many insights about both America and its soldiers, and the thought behind many of its conclusions is hard and clean… It also disposes of a number of prejudices about the military that still clog the policy process… Here is a book to make one think.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674817364
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 8/12/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 319,519
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel P. Huntington was Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University, and the author of Political Order in Changing Societies.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: National Security and Civil-Military Relations


1. Officership as a Profession

Professionalism and the Military

The Concept of Profession

The Military Profession

2. The Rise of the Military Profession in Western Society

A New Social Type

Mercenary and Aristocratic Officership

Eighteenth-Century Aristocratic Institutions

Preprofessional Meals: The Military Craft and the Natural Genius

The Origins of Professionalism

The Emergence of Professional Institutions, 1800-1875

European Professionalism: General Upton's Summary, 1875

Formulation of the Professional Ethic: The Autonomy and Sub-Ordination of War In Clausewitz's Vom Kriege

3. The Military Mind: Conservative Realism of the Professional Military Ethic

The Meaning of the Military Mind

The Professional Military Ethic

4. Power, Professionalism, and Ideology: Civil-Military Relations In Theory

The Varieties of Civilian Control

The Two Levels of Civil-Military Relations

The Equilibrium of Objective Civilian Control

The Patterns of Civil-Military Relations

5. Germany and Japan: Civil-Military Relations In Practice

The German and Japanese Patterns

Germany: The Tragedy of Professional Militarism

Japan: The Continuity of Political Militarism


6. The Ideological Constant: The Liberal Society Versus Military Professionalism

The Historical Constants of American Civil-Military Relations

The Prevalence of Liberalism in the United States

The Liberal Approach to Military Affairs

The Military Hero in Liberal Politics

7. The Structural Constant: The Conservative Constitution

Versus Civilian Control

The Constitutional Absence of Objective Civilian Control

The Framers and Civilian Control

The Militia Clauses and Military Federalism: The Empire Within an Empire

The Separation of Powers: Dual Control Over the National Forces

The Commander in Chief Clause: The Political-Military Hierarchy

Civilian Control and Constitutional Government

8. The Roots of the American Military Tradition Before the Civil War

The Three Strands of American Militarism

The Failure of Federalism: Hamilton's Abortive Professionalism




9. The Creation of the American Military Profession

The Dominance of Business Pacifism: Industrialism Versus Militarism

Years of Isolation: The Dark and the Bright

The Creative Core: Sherman, Upton, Luce

The Institutions of Professionalism

The Making of the American Military Mind

10. The Failure of the Neo-Hamiltonian Compromise, 1890-1920

The Nature of Neo-Hamiltonianism

Mahan And Wood: The Tragedy of the Military Publicist

The Abortive Identification With Society, 1918-1925

11. The Constancy of Interwar Civil-Military Relations

Business-Reform Hostility and Military Professionalism

Reform Liberalism: The Pragmatic Usages of Militarism

Military Institutions

The American Military Ethic, 1920-1941


12. World War II: The Alchemy of Power

Civil-Military Relations in Total War

Military Authority and Influence in Grand Strategy

The Military Adjustment to Wartime Power

Civil-Military Relations in Economic Mobilization

The Fruits of Harmony and Acrimony

13. Civil-Military Relations in the Postwar Decade

The Alternatives of Civil-Military Relations

Postwar Perspectives on Civil-Military Relations

Military Influence in American Society

14. The Political Roles of the Joint Chiefs

Political Roles: Substantive and Advocatory

The Joint Chiefs in the Truman Administration

The Korean War: the Generals, the Troops, and the Public

The Joint Chiefs in the First Two Years of the Eisenhower Administration


15. The Separation of Powers and Cold War Defense

The Impact of the Separation of Powers

The Separation of Powers Versus the Separation of Functions

The Separation of Powers Versus Military Professionalism

The Separation of Powers Versus Strategic Monism

16. Departmental Structure of Civil-Military Relations

The Organization Problems of the Postwar Decade

The Joint Chiefs of Staff: Legal Form and Political Reality

The Comptroller: Superego of the Department of Defense

The Role of the Secretary

The Needs of the Office

17. Toward a New Equilibrium

The Requisite For Security

Changes in the Ideological Environment

Conservatism and Security

The Worth of the Military Ideal



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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2008

    all armed personnel of officer rank must read

    the book is a good effort for discussing a theory on military civil relationship in any country. His examples are based on German. Japanese and American notings and historical data and are very appropriate. But the things have changed since the fifties and the modalities of war/conficts have also changed. Hence dependence on armed forces has become common. Long and weary involvements will be order of the period of clash of religions and ethnic conflicts. hence we will need governments who think logical, are far from corrupt and are not self centered. The military will have to be supported by citizens other wise the service will lose its attraction for good youth.I think the author should now write a supplement to cover other countries like India, china ,Iran whose armies do matter now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2001

    The Book is helpful for changing Indonesia become the democratic state

    By reading this book, that is true what huntington said that in the transition periode, it is dificult for civil society to walk together with military. The changes happened in Indonesia are the real example for this. You can see how Indonesia is struggling againts the rest of otoritarians imperium that is still exist in building the more democratic nation-state. Therefore, the civil-military relation is always in bad condition. Each wants to dominate in the nation building, so that there are always dicotomies among them. How the book is useful to overcome the problem happened in Indonesia.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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