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Mobilizing Force: Linking Security Threats, Militarization, and Civilian Control

David Kuehn and Yagil Levy, editors
Mobilizing Force: Linking Security Threats, Militarization, and Civilian Control
ISBN: 978-1-62637-939-8
ISBN: 978-1-62637-943-5
2021/287 pages/LC: 2020047199
Also of interest: Civil-Military Relations: Control and Effectiveness Across Regimes by Thomas C. Bruneau and Aurel Croissant, eds.
"A book that will expand understanding of how, why, and to what end states will respond to threats." —Major James D. Corless, Æther: A Journal of Strategic Airpower & Spacepower

"Mobilizing Force
helps to demonstrate that the relationship between 'threat' and democratic control of the military is complex—and subject to both contestation and manipulation. It is a significant step forward in our understanding of the role of the public in concepts of control."—Lindsay Cohn, US Naval War College


What leads a democratic government to use military force to counter a domestic or external threat? How does it legitimize this mobilization to its citizenry? And what is the significance for civilian control of the military?

The authors of Mobilizing Force draw on case studies from around the world to systematically examine these critical questions, exploring the interrelationships among security threats, the militarization of security policy, and democratic accountability.


David Kuehn is senior research fellow at the GIGA Institute of Asian Studies. Yagil Levy is professor in the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication at the Open University of Israel.


  • Militarization: The Missing Link Between Threats and Civilian Control—D. Kuehn and Y. Levy.
  • Israel: Remilitarized Threats and Military Contrarianism—Y. Levy.
  • Japan: "Normalizing" the Japan Self-Defense Forces?—E. Ben-Ari.
  • South Korea: Media-Driven Amplification of Threats—I. Kim.
  • United States: The "Angry American" and Transnational Terrorism—A. Hunt Friend and L. Arias.
  • Colombia: Confronting Insurgency, Drug Cartels, and Narcoterrorists—S. Rivera-Paez.
  • El Salvador: Old Habits Die Hard—S. Kurtenbach and D. Reder.
  • France: Swinging Securitization Paths?—C. Ruffa.
  • Senegal: Managing Civil War Without Militarization—J. Matisek.
  • South Africa: From Militarization to Demilitarization to Remilitarization—L. Heinecken.
  • Spain: A War Without an Army—R. Martínez and O. Jaime.
  • Theorizing Threats, Militarization, and Civilian Control—D. Kuehn and Y. Levy.