standing army

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standing army

the establishment of an army as a body of enlisted, professional, regular soldiers under the direct control of the government. Although approached in form only exceptionally in premodern societies (e.g. the Roman legions), fully professionalized standing armies are a usual feature, and an important basis of the maintenance of the power, of modern NATION STATES. For GIDDENS (1985), the establishment and innovations in the control and tactics of standing armies – the ‘Taylorism of this sphere’ – are a greatly neglected aspect of the process of social development that leads to contemporary societies. See also MILITARY-CIVILIAN RATIO.
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