military intervention


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

military intervention (in politics)

any military intervention in politics that extends beyond those minimal levels of influence which normally exist in constitutional democracies. Finer (Man on Horseback, 1962) identifies four levels of intervention by the military:
  1. influence;
  2. blackmail;
  3. displacement of civilian rulers;
  4. the supplanting of a civilian regime by a military one.

According to Finer, a formal separation of the military from politics, of the kind characteristic of modern constitutional states, is most readily maintained within Western industrialized democracies, where a strong POLITICAL CULTURE sustains the legitimacy of civilian political rule, and also defines military intervention as illegitimate. In Western industrialized societies, military intervention in politics tends to be limited to ‘influence’. In contemporary societies, full military intervention, leading to the supplanting of civilian regimes by military regimes, is mainly a phenomenon of developing nations. However, it also occurs in more developed societies (e.g. Argentina) which lack a strong political culture legitimizing civilian rule.

Apart from the obvious factor, the possession of modern weaponry, further factors which enable or encourage military intervention are:

  1. where the military exist as an internally coherent group, possessing good communications and able to operate as a unit, in a context in which these attributes are lacking in other groups;
  2. where the military are able to claim to represent the nation as a whole, in situations in which civilian governments represent sectional interests;
  3. where members of the military may hope to benefit personally from intervention (e.g. expect to gain better equipment, improved salaries or improve promotion prospects).

It should not be assumed that military intervention automatically leads to right-wing regimes; there exist numerous examples to the contrary. The effectiveness of military regimes compared with civilian regimes in introducing social reforms is also an open question. It is usual, however, for periods of military rule to be of relatively short duration.

References in periodicals archive ?
His concepts failed and created a muddled Middle East and insecurities in other regions of the world as well where such military interventions took place.
There is a need for improving the election system and stopping military interventions.
It urges the Human Rights Council to give special attention to the violation of human rights, especially the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military intervention, aggression or occupation.
The information available to us indicate that there are preparations in some Western countries for strikes against terrorist targets in Libya, but no military intervention is planned in a near future, he said.
Audi's statement came mere days after 46 prominent Lebanese Orthodox Christian figures signed a petition last Thursday decrying the Russian Orthodox Church's characterization of its country's military intervention in Syria.
He noted that a substantial number of Democrats - 31 percent on the martial law question - believe federal military intervention is possible.
With this account of enormous human suffering, one may easily jump to a conclusion that military intervention will be justifiable.
He stressed that "the Yemeni people will be for the Arab military intervention against the Houthis.
The day prior, Hadi requested military intervention by the Peninsula Shield Force, the joint military force of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), according to Riyadh Yasin, the foreign affairs minister.
Cairo, Jan 15 (BNA) -- Arab League Secretary-General, Nabeel El-Arabi, today presented a proposal for considering the possibility of the formation of a joint Arab military intervention force to confront terrorism.
The Sadrist threats, which continued since US occupation of Iraq in 2003, were voiced through yesterday's demonstration denouncing any US military intervention in the country.
Islamabad -- Amid growing political uncertainty in the country, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif has said there was no possibility of any military intervention.

Full browser ?