Politics of mimicry - politics of exclusion : comparing post-communist civil-military relations in Poland and Hungary, Russia and Ukraine, 1991-1999
The dissertation looks at the transformation of civil-military relations in Poland and Hungary, Russia and Ukraine between the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in July 1991 and the enlargement of NATO in March 1999. It presents new qualitative data based on approximately 120 elite interviews conducted by the author of politicians, military officers, defence analysts, and journalists in the countries in the study. In general, the focus is on the civilian side of the civil-military equation. Specifically, the work assesses the state of civil-military relations on the basis of three interconnected indicators: the making of security policy and defence reform as a test of civilian control, the role of civilians in the ministry of defence, and the strength of agencies of civilian oversight. It is argued that the differences observed in the state of civil-military relations among the states in the study can be explained by the interaction of three main factors. In Poland and Hungary, the external incentives to establish democratic control of the armed forces reform were positive, while in Russia and Ukraine the impact of external actors - of which NATO was by far the most significant - was negative or ambiguous. The attitude of the political and military elite in Poland and Hungary was more open to the adoption of new norms of civil-military relations than was that of the elite in Russia and Ukraine. And in Poland and Hungary the state of the polity and economy presented a less significant internal constraint on reform. The central finding of the dissertation is that in Poland and Hungary reformers tried - with mixed success - to adopt the forms of democratic civil-military relations as part of their drive to integrate with Western politico-military structures without seeking to understand the logic behind them. The result was a "politics of mimicry", a process of imperfect copying of liberal-democratic norms of civil-military relations which, nonetheless, culminated in these countries being admitted to NATO in 1999. In Ukraine and Russia, by contrast, in a time of profound budgetary exigency, the armed forces were left to solve their own problems absent much civilian control except that exercised infrequently and arbitrarily by the head of state.