Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras are four Spanish speaking countries in Central America that possess uniformed military institutions. These four countries represent different approaches to reforms of civil-military relations, and embody varying degrees of success in both institutional democratization and the managing of security forces.
In this book, Orlando J. Perez expertly examines the competing theories of civil-military relations in Central America to advance our understanding of the origins, consequences and persistence of militarism in Latin America.
Divided into four parts, Perez begins by proposing a theoretical framework for analyzing civil-military relations, including an analysis of how U.S. foreign and military policy affects the establishment of stable civilian supremacy over the armed forces. Part Two examines the institutional and legal structures under which civil-military relations are carried out revealing in Part 3 the reorientation of the missions and roles performed by the armed forces in each country. The concluding section analyzes the role beliefs of members of the military and public opinion about the armed forces in relation to other institutions. Combining both qualitative and quantitative data, Perez bridges the gap between structural and cultural analyses for a more comprehensive understanding of the links between micro and macro level factors that influence civil-military relations and democratic governance.
Orlando J. Perez is Associate Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Millersville University. He is a member of the Scientific Support Group for the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) and directs the Americas Barometer survey in Panama and Honduras.