From Mercenary to Citizen Armies: Explaining Change in the Practice of War
Mercenary armies went out of style in the nineteenth century; it became common sense that armies should be staffed with citizens. I argue that even though realist explanations focusing on the fighting prowess of citizen armies and sociological explanations focusing on the fit between citizen armies and prevailing ideas can rationalize this change, they cannot explain it. I examine, instead, the politics behind the new reliance on citizen armies and argue that material and ideational turmoil provided important antecedent conditions for change. Beyond this, individual states were more likely to move toward citizen armies when they had been defeated militarily and when the ruling coalition was split or indifferent about the reforms tied to citizen armies. Finally, the apparent success of citizen armies in France and then Prussia made do mestic conditions for reform easier to obtain in other countries, reinforcing the likelihood that the solution would be replicated. I conclude that the interaction between domestic politics and path dependency provides a promising source of hypotheses for explaining the conditions under which new ways of war emerge and spread.
Volume (Year): 54 (2000)
Issue (Month): 01 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK|
Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_INO
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:intorg:v:54:y:2000:i:01:p:41-72_44. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.