Civilian influence in defense


Authored by: Florina Cristiana Matei

The Routledge Handbook of Civil–Military Relations

Print publication date:  September  2012
Online publication date:  November  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415782739
eBook ISBN: 9780203105276
Adobe ISBN: 9781136253218


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This chapter discusses Slovenia's efforts to develop democratic civil–military relations (CMR), in particular, democratic civilian control of the armed forces, after the transition to democracy in 1989 and the proclamation of independence in 1991. Slovenia is a particularly relevant case study of civil–military relations. It is a newly-established democracy (as are many others in Central and Eastern Europe), which also gained its independence from the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991. Slovenia's democratic consolidation has essentially involved readjusting more or less existing state institutions. The armed forces were inherited from the previous non-democratic regime and carried the stigma of their non-democratic past, mainly associated with clashes between former Yugoslav military and Slovenian civil society in the early 1980s. 1 And oddly, 20 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the Slovenian military, one of the new effective contributors to NATO, does not enjoy much popular support (although NATO/EU integration were considerably supported by the citizenry), in particular with regard to operating an expeditionary force. Under these circumstances, building democratic CMR in Slovenia has been a rather onerous process; at a minimum, it meant wiping out the shame of the communist past and installing a state of integrity within the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF). At the maximum, it involved de-politicization, respect for human rights and civil liberties by the security system, democratic civilian control of the military, accountability, transparency of budget, and both effectiveness and efficiency in fulfilling security-related roles and missions.

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