Australia: Expanding and Applying the Field of Civil-Military Relations

Ben Wadham, Willem de Lint

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Civil-military relations research in Australia is limited. There is no field of civil-military relations to speak of, as there is in, for example, the United States tradition. It is this tradition of research that has a significant influence on the Australian Defence Force through the work of Samuel Huntington and Morris Janowitz. Indeed, civil-military relations is used in defense establishment parlance to describe the military encountering nongovernment organizations and the civil sector in conflict zones. However, there is not enough research and writing to represent a body of work within the Australian academy. The use of the term and its traditions are argued to be normative. The concept reproduces an ideal of civil-military relations that does not represent the rich cultural diversity that constitutes this field. Civil-military relations in the United States sense are an appropriate frame for Australian liberal democracy and the place and role of the military. Drawing on cultural theory, and using the phenomenon of scandal, it may be argued that the cultural diversity of the state, the military, and civil society must be conceptualized to improve the explanatory value of this field. The fraternal and contested character of institutional interaction must also be a focus. The lack of attention to the role of the market is also an area for further development. The element of the market in civil-military relations describes the adaptive maneuvers of these entities—state, military, market, and civil society—in sustaining institutional hegemony in Australian liberal democracy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedias
    Subtitle of host publicationPolitics
    EditorsWilliam R Thompson
    Place of PublicationOnline
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages30
    ISBN (Electronic)9780190228637
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2020

    Publication series

    NameOxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics
    PublisherOxford University Press


    • Australia
    • Civil
    • Military


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