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Mutually implicated myths: the democratic control of the armed forces and militarism

Millar, Katharine M. (2016) Mutually implicated myths: the democratic control of the armed forces and militarism. In: Bliesemann de Guevara, Berit, (ed.) Myth and Narrative in International Politics: Interpretive Approaches to the Study of IR. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK, pp. 173-191. ISBN 9781137537515

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In the post-war era, international organizations have increasingly promoted the democratic control of the armed forces (DCAF) in new and transitional states. As DCAF employs the language of accountability, rationality, and peace, the principle has an explicitly normative character. Utilizing Foucauldian theory, this chapter argues that the purportedly pacific nature of DCAF, however, is a potent policy myth which is subtly dependent upon a secondary myth – militarism. The chapter examines the implication of academics and policymakers in the construction and reification of these mutually-reinforcing myths. Overall, it is argued that the discourse of militarism identifies the valorization of violence by democratic societies as ‘deviant’ exceptions to the generally pacific nature of DCAF, normalizing the quotidian reliance of democracies upon the (potential) for political violence.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 13:32
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2024 21:09

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