Civil-military Pathologies and Defeat in War

  title={Civil-military Pathologies and Defeat in War},
  author={Vipin Narang and Caitlin Talmadge},
  journal={Journal of Conflict Resolution},
  pages={1379 - 1405}
This article uses an original data set, the Wartime Civil-military Relations Data Set, to test arguments about the causes of victory and defeat in war. Our analysis provides strong initial support for the notion that civil-military relations powerfully shape state prospects for victory and defeat. Specifically, states whose militaries have a significant internal role or whose regimes engage in coup-proofing appear to have a substantially lower probability of winning interstate wars, even when… 

Tables from this paper

Civil–Military Relations and Civil War Recurrence: Security Forces in Postwar Politics

Does restructuring security forces reduce the risk of civil war recurrence? Prior research has examined effects of military integration in alleviating commitment problems, but the evidence has been

Self-Reinforcing Civilian Control: A Measurement-Based Analysis of Civil-Military Relations

How do civilians prevent their militaries from engaging in politics? Scholars are divided in their answer to this question, with some highlighting the constraining effects of political institutions

Generals in the Cabinet: Military Participation in Government and International Conflict Initiation

How does the presence of military officers in national government affect a state's likelihood of international conflict? We know a great deal about how overall regime type affects international

Purging militaries: Introducing the Military Purges in Dictatorships (MPD) dataset

  • J. Sudduth
  • Political Science
    Journal of Peace Research
  • 2021
The principal threat most autocratic leaders face stems from within the regime. To control militaries and mitigate the risk of coups d’état, many autocratic leaders repeatedly purge strong officers

Leader Survival Strategies and the Onset of Civil Conflict: A Coup-Proofing Paradox

It is paradoxical that authoritarian leaders often hold power for long periods of time, despite their states being plagued with rebellion. Scholarship has argued the practice of coup-proofing is

How Mosul fell: the role of coup-proofing in the 2014 partial collapse of the Iraqi security forces

The Islamic State’s capture of the Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014 was a seismic event. How can this be explained? This article answers this question by turning to the literature on anti-coup d’etat

Air superiority and battlefield victory

Air superiority enhances military firepower and maneuverability and is critical to battlefield success. We offer the first quantitative test of the relationship between air superiority and

Dictators, personalized security forces, and coups

  • Wonjun Song
  • Political Science
    International Interactions
  • 2022
ABSTRACT Dictators rely on coercive forces to remain in office, as violence is the ultimate arbiter of power in these regimes. However, coercive forces also can remove the dictator from office in a

Avoiding the Coup-Proofing Dilemma: Consolidating Political Control While Maximizing Military Power

Civil-military relations scholarship forecasts that governments fearing coups d’état and facing belligerent external and internal adversaries face a dilemma. Governments can coup-proof to reduce

Mapping coercive institutions: The State Security Forces dataset, 1960–2010

The SSF dataset is presented, which includes 375 security forces in 110 countries, 1960–2010, and shows how it can be used to deepen the understanding of coup-proofing and strategic substitution and identifies additional research uses of the dataset.



Coup-Proofing and Military Effectiveness in Interstate Wars, 1967–99

This study examines the influence of civil–military relations on military effectiveness. More specifically, we investigate how coup-proofing, that is, the strategies and tactics employed to prevent

Coup-Proofing and Military Effectiveness in Interstate Wars , 1967 – 99

This study examines the influence of civil–military relations on military effectiveness. More specifically, we investigate how coup-proofing, that is, the strategies and tactics employed to prevent

What Determines Military Victory? Testing the Modern System

This paper assesses the relative importance of force employment as a cause of military victory. It focuses on the adoption of the modern system in interstate wars since 1917. Using cases, contingency

When War Helps Civil–military Relations

Coups remain a widespread and consequential political phenomenon, but it remains unclear whether interstate conflict protects leaders from the risk of coups or increases this risk. We theorize that

Are Soldiers Less War-Prone than Statesmen?

The dominant (though contested) wisdom among international relations scholars is that military officers tend to be more cautious than their civilian counterparts about initiating the use of force.

Endurance and war : the national sources of military cohesion

Scholars and military practitioners alike have long sought to understand why some country's militaries fight hard when facing defeat while others collapse. In Endurance and War, Jasen Castillo

An Autocracy at War: Explaining Egypt's Military Effectiveness, 1967 and 1973

In the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt shocked the world with its atrocious performance in battle, only to stun the world again with its remarkable military turnaround in the October 1973 war.

The Puzzle of Personalist Performance: Iraqi Battlefield Effectiveness in the Iran-Iraq War

Saddam's Iraq has become a cliché in the study of military effectiveness—the quintessentially coup-proofed, personalist dictatorship, unable to generate fighting power commensurate with its

Imagining War: French and British Military Doctrine between the Wars

This text employs a cultural approach to take issue with the conventional wisdom that military organizations inherently prefer offensive doctrines. It argues instead that a military's culture affects

The Army You Have: The Determinants of Military Mechanization, 1979–2001

Recent research suggests that a crucial factor in understanding the outcomes of military conflicts is the extent to which militaries are mechanized—that is, their relative dependence on tanks and