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"Angle Droit" by Théo on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

"Angle Droit" by Théo on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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The military dictatorships:
aspects and political legacy

In the period between 1945 and 1976, there were numerous military coups around the entire world. In Latin America, only Mexico and Costa Rica remained unscathed. In the same period, the half part of Asian states and two-thirds of the Middle East and North Africa countries experienced the military intervention; only since 1963, after decolonization, uprisings proliferated, carried out by officers of a part of the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa region [1]. Even in Europe, this particular experience was experimented by the Greece of the Colonels in the seventies, and Jaruzelski’s Poland in the eighties. Although diffusion has been reduced, nowadays these cases continue to happen, as has recently been, for example, in Mali or Egypt.

The intervention of the militaries in politics has undoubtedly marked the history of many countries in the Twentieth Century. This fact has been considered negatively by Marxism, which has interpreted the ‘military coup’ as the immediate solution to the empowerment of the working class, the left parties or the popular sectors in general [2], and from the liberal perspective, the deviation of the liberal constitutional model [3]; in contrast, other interpretations has identified the military intervention as an initiative to the modernization, able to develop and transform politic systems considerate underdeveloped [4].

Recently this experience has been associated with social mobilization and the essence of consolidated political institutions, but also to situations characterized by ethnic divisions, localisms [5] or governments unable to respond to the economic problems [6]. What happens from the institutional and legislative point of view during the management of a military control? Should we consider a dictatorship as a digression in the transition from a civilian government to another and are its consequences temporary? This criterion should be questioned [7]?

From these questions, Diacronie seeks to address the problem of military governments and their political legacy to successors, focusing on:

  1. The phenomenon of politicization of the officer corps once staged the coup; in particular the analysis of the groups or lobbies [8] that preserve civil power during and after the coup, and the problem of the relationship between civil and military in this context [9].
  2. The ways in which the military regime consolidates itself and use or eliminate existing institutions [10]; and the respective management of institutional transition of these regimes in the way to develop democratic guidelines.
  3. Long and short terms effects over the political control practiced by militaries, understanding changes in the institutional structure of the State or associated to different legislative aspects.



[1] PASQUINO, Gianfranco, Introduzione, in NORDLINGER, Eric A., I nuovi pretoriani, Milano, ETAS, 1978 [original ed., Soldiers in Politics: Military Coups and Governments, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1976].

[2] VITALE, Luis, Interpretacion Marxista de La Historia de Chile, 3 voll., Santiago de Chile, LOM Ediciones, 2011.

[3] NEEDLER, Martin C., «Political Development and Military Intervention in Latin America» in American Political Science Review, 60, 1966, pp. 616-626; McALISTER, Lyne N., «Recent Research and Writing on the Role of the Military in Latin America», in Latin American Research Review, 2, 3/1966, pp. 5-36.

[4] HUNTINGTON, Samuel P., Political Order in Changing Societies, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1968; BIENEN, Henry (ed.), The Military and Modernization, Chicago, Aldine, 1971.

[5] JACKMAN, Robert W., «The predictability of coups d’etat: A model with African data», in The American Political Science Review, 72, 1978, 1262-1275.

[6] JOHNSON, Thomas H., SLATER, Robert O., McGOWAN, Pat, «Explaining African military coups d’etat, 1960-1982», in The American Political Science Review, 78, 1984, pp. 622-640.

[7] JOHNSON, John J., The Role of the Military in Underdeveloped Countries, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1962.

[8] NORDLINGER, Eric A., Soldiers in politics. Military coups and governments, cit.; HYMAN, Elizabeth H., «Soldiers in Politics: New Insights on Latin American Armed Forces», in Political Science Quarterly, 87, 1972, pp. 401-418.

[9] HUNTINGTON, Samuel P., The Soldier and the State. The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations, Cambridge, The Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1957.

[10] STEPAN, Alfred, Rethinking military politics. Brazil and the Southern Cone, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1988.


How to send an article

The authors interested in this CFP can submit their article in Italian, English, French, Spanish or Portuguese (Portuguese articles will be translated to Italian by editorial office). Articles must have an extension between 30.000 and 40.000 characters, (including spaces, footnotes and bibliographies); please refer to for style and templates requirements. All proposal will be sent at Scrivi una mail redazione.diacronie[at]

Please notify as soon as possible, by contacting the editors, of your intention to participate with an article. The deadline for the proposal abstract (1000 characters) is 31st of May 2015. We will notify of the acceptance or rejection of the proposal by 15th June 2015. Final submission must be sent by 15th of September 2015. Number will be published in December 2015.

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