Armed Forces and Society in Europe (Palgrave Texts in by A. Forster

By A. Forster

Within the post-Cold struggle period, eu militaries are engaged in an ongoing variation that's hard kin among military and the societies that they serve. This booklet deals an leading edge conceptual framework to seriously review modern civil-military family around the continent of Europe. It analyzes 8 key concerns in militia and society kin, to discover the size and depth of those adjustments.

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In addition, marketisation has been introduced, with tenders offered for tasks deemed capable of being carried out by civilian commercial companies, and agencies have been created with devolved responsibilities for specific functions. The UK has been perhaps the most active in developing this approach, but initiatives have also been adopted by several governments in west, central and eastern Europe. To varying degrees this has led to a more efficient defence system, with tasks performed by civilian specialists in the appropriate field, thus releasing military personnel for other duties.

The engagement of the legislature in the defence policy-making process is therefore crucial to provide both democratic accountability and transparency. Effective parliamentary oversight of the armed forces and defence 28 Armed Forces and Society in Europe policy is, however, critically dependent on two factors. The first of these is the extent of the formal constitutional and legally defined powers of the legislature, with the German and to a lesser extent the Hungarian system offering the strongest checks on the executive’s management of the defence sector, and with the French offering the weakest across all four functions.

In the UK a similar pattern is evident and as Lustgarten notes, ‘it would be impossible to contend, for example, that the despatch of British soldiers to Afghanistan in autumn 2001 was adequately debated’ (Lustgarten, 2004: 7). Whilst for the first time in British history the government permitted a debate and vote on the government’s policy to deploy troops to the Gulf for Operation Telic in 2003, party managers made clear this was exceptional and did not create a precedent. In Germany the Bundestag and the parliament in Hungary perhaps play the strongest role in the arena and decision-making functions both requiring a vote in parliament before forces can be deployed beyond national borders (Dunay, 2002b: 71; Koenig-Archibugi, 2004: 169).

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