Transition To Democracy In Latin America

Overview

This book examines the role of the military in the wave of democratization that has swept through Latin America in the past decade. Although much of the leading literature on the transition to democracy recognizes the importance of hardline and softline factions within the military in this process, the author takes this study one step further to investigate the motivations of the military officers themselves. Using the cases of Brazil and Bolivia, and relying on dozens of interviews with military officers, ...

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Overview

This book examines the role of the military in the wave of democratization that has swept through Latin America in the past decade. Although much of the leading literature on the transition to democracy recognizes the importance of hardline and softline factions within the military in this process, the author takes this study one step further to investigate the motivations of the military officers themselves. Using the cases of Brazil and Bolivia, and relying on dozens of interviews with military officers, politicians, jurists, and other observers throughout Latin America, he determines that the factions' attitudes do not depend primarily on ideological commitment but on the leaders' calculation, as to the career benefits to their followers of either supporting or opposing democratization. In terms of policy making, it is important to recognize this distinction in order to help preserve the fragile democracies which are already under threat from the military once again.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A career diplomat with the US Department of State offers some explanation for the displacement during the 1980s and 1990s of Latin American military governments that had planned to stay in power permanently. Among other factors, he notes the rivalry between factions within the military organizations. He describes the nature of the regimes from the 1960s to the 1980s, the breakdown of authoritarian regimes, and factionalism within the military; then presents contrasting case studies of the military leaving gracefully in Brazil, and being dragged away kicking and screaming in Bolivia. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275956363
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/24/1996
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

BRUCE W. FARCAU has been a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State for nearly 20 years.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 The Nature of Latin American Military Regimes: 1960s to 1980s 15
2 The Breakdown of Authoritarian Regimes 33
3 Factionalism within the Latin American Military 53
4 Leaving Gracefully: The Brazilian Case 87
5 Being Dragged: The Bolivian Case 111
6 Conclusions 139
Bibliography 165
Index 179
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