Though the civil-military relations field has seen a lot of theoretical work in recent years, the field still lacks consistent overarching theories. This dissertation argues that the field requires a new and better theoretical framework. Scholars do not agree about how to define key concepts or how these concepts affect one another. They therefore have a tendency to talk past one another when debating and developing theories of civil-military relations.
This dissertation develops a new and more sophisticated theoretical framework for elite civil-military relations. The field’s current theoretical framework was developed by Samuel Huntington in The Soldier and the State. This dissertation uses his framework as a starting point for a larger conceptual analysis, where political and military sociology, international relations, political theory, and military science are used to define the key concepts of civil-military relations.
There are two heterogeneous types of civil-military relations that should be studied separately: societal civil-military relations and elite civil-military relations. Political science approaches to civil-military relations, such as this dissertation, typically focus on the latter type. Elite civil-military relations consist of two separate fields of study: civilian control and military effectiveness. Elite civil-military relations function as a system that essentially depends on civilian overall preferences...
This thesis offers the first systematic critical examination of the political thought of Bernard Williams; explains the relation between his political realism and his critical assessment of much modern moral philosophy, and discusses how his work illuminates the debates about the nature and purpose of political theory. I defend Williams’s fundamental claim that the central questions of political morality arise within politics and argue accordingly that political theory should not, contrary to the position implicit in much contemporary political theory, in the first instance be seen as an exercise in applying a set of external moral principles to politics. I argue that although Williams’s critique of contemporary political theory is mistaken in its claim that contemporary political theorists conventionally endorse a monolithic form of moralism, he convincingly shows that political theory should begin with an understanding of the distinctive character of politics, as this enables us to understand the goods that are internal to it. In this regard, Williams’s realism is best read as an attempt to make ethical sense of politics, and as an attempt to explain how we can continue to affirm a kind of liberalism, without recourse to the moralised presuppositions that he insists we must jettison. I go on to argue that by developing the insights of Williams’s late work we can articulate a defence of liberalism that has marked advantages over the ‘high liberalism’ that most contemporary liberal theorists defend. This latter argument illustrates the distinctiveness of Williams’s contribution to contemporary debates about realism in political theory as most of the realist thinkers with whom he is grouped endorse a form of realism in order to impugn liberalism.
This dissertation studies political dynasties in democratic countries. Dynasties are common in all professions. However, for the profession of politics, in which succession depends no longer on dynastic succession but on running successful electoral campaigns, understanding how and why political power can be bequeathed is particularly important. Factors such as name recognition (the voter demand side) and political networks (the elite supply side) are potential explanations of the continued presence of dynasties in parliaments. This dissertation studies both the voter demand side and the elite supply side of the phenomenon. I first discuss the related literature on political dynasties, political selection, political quality, and the personal vote. Voting for dynasties can be rational, and the presence of dynastic legislators perfectly legitimate. Political dynasties may thrive in electoral systems that encourage personal voting, such as is used in Belgium. In a first paper, I show that in the Belgian 2010 General Election voters preferred dynastic candidates. Institutional changes may change such (dynastic) elite equilibria. In a second paper, we exploit the constituency-level variation in the franchise extension associated with the Second and Third Reform Acts in Britain. However...
This thesis consists of four papers, each of which helps to understand certain
dynamics surrounding political dynasties. The first paper focuses on the role of
‘dynastic identity’ in influencing the behaviour of legislators from the political class of Bangladesh. In particular, it analyses whether dynastic legislators behave differently in comparison to non-dynastic legislators by examining their parliamentary
attendance level and the likelihood of them having a criminal profile. The findings
from the analysis suggest that ‘dynastic identity’ may influence a legislator’s behaviour. The second paper investigates if there is a systematic relationship between
dynasty-politics and corruption in a cross-country empirical analysis. In doing so, the paper produces multiple dynasty indices that try to capture the variation in dynasty- politics across countries. The key findings from this scrutiny are indicative that countries with greater prevalence of dynasty-politics are associated with higher levels of corruption. In the third paper, I study the role of political assassination in
facilitating the rise of political dynasties in Bangladesh. More specifically, I construct a data set of political leaders from Bangladesh who faced at least one assassination
attempt to exploit the randomness in the success or failure of assassination attempts to
identify assassination’s effect on the probability that a leader will start a political dynasty. The results point out that successful assassination increases the likelihood
that a political leader will have a posterior relative in office. Lastly...
This thesis explores how political preferences are shaped by institutions, economic conditions, and personality. Each chapter is a distinct contribution and provides a different perspective on the formation of political preferences and, ultimately, voting behaviour. These different approaches relate to the fields of comparative political economy, behavioural economics, and political psychology. Methodologically, this thesis is empirically applied and the results of these separate enquiries into political preferences are grounded in statistical analysis.
A first substantive chapter introduces a median voter data set that provides insight into the ideological position of the electoral centre in over 50 democracies. A second chapter uses this new data and studies cross-national voting behaviour in 18 Western democracies over
1960-2003. It is found that electoral behaviour is closely related to the salience of the following economic institutions: labour organization, skill specificity, and public sector employment. This research shows that political preferences are endogenous to economic institutions and implies the existence of institutional advantages to partisan politics. A third substantive chapter focuses on ideological change in the United States and tests the proposition that voters advance a more liberal agenda in prosperous times and shift towards being more conservative in dire economic times. A reference-dependent utility model relates income growth to political preferences by way of the demand for public goods and the optimal tax rate. This work thus links voting behaviour to economic business cycles and shows that ideological change is endogenous to income growth rates. Finally...