ABSTRACT. This paper analyzes three decades of civil–military relations reform in Argentina, which transformed the armed forces from an organization that chronically intervened in politics to one effectively subordinate to civilian control that is more far-reaching than any other in contemporary Latin America. Through a qualitative case study, the paper identifies a sequence of strategies involving confrontation, incorporation, and finally subordination, as civilian leaders first undertook a lengthy process of legal and institutional reforms to subordinate the military, and more recently sought to develop a citizen soldier model through legal, gender equality, and educational innovations. Thus institutional restructuring has led to efforts to promote a culture shift in the armed forces. The analysis finds that while this sequencing of reforms has been positive, it is not without obstacles, and concludes that bringing a non-partisan citizenship model to fruition within the armed forces requires sustained commitments from civilian political leaders and civil society. pp. 83–111

Keywords: Argentina; armed forces; citizen soldier; civil–military relations; democratic civilian control; Latin America

How to cite: Mani, Kristina (2017), “Toward a Citizen Soldier Paradigm? Assessing Three Decades of Civil–Military Relations in Argentina,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 9(1): 83–111.

Received 9 August 2015 • Received in revised form 17 July 2016
Accepted 17 July 2016 • Available online 10 August 2016


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Department of Politics,
Oberlin College

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