Towards Understanding Coups and Civilian Military Relations

Carolina G. Hernandez


Civilian-military relations tend to be almost fluid in character in a transition regime. During a transition, the polity is in the process of transforming itself from dictatorship to democracy. The military had a prominent role as a control mechanism in the former political order. The military would tend to be resistive of an alteration of that role towards the direction of its diminution or contraction. Civilian-military relations were based on the principle of civilian supremacy over the military in theory and in fact. In this paper, the author calls that there is a need to re-examine existing civilian-military relations, respond decisively and positively to legitimate military grievances, institute reforms to provide constraints against future military intervention in politics, and rebuild the military in accordance with the mandate of the 1987 constitution.

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