Other Names: Military dictatorship
Nature: Military governments tend to have little respect for freedom nor for many human rights. Military strength involves laying plans for possible wars, and this necessarily leads to viewing other countries or internal factions as possible enemies. The result may be an oversimplified, black-and-white view of the world, divided into friends and enemies. In a country in which the ultimate control of policy rests with a civil government, these trends can be balanced, although an intense military preparedness tends to give the military men more influence on policy; a military government might not be subject to this restraining influence. When its position is insecure, it may attempt to strengthen it by exaggerating the threat from possible enemies, and if carried far enough, this trend may turn a country into an armed camp.
Incidence: Typically the military seizes power in the midst of a crisis and attempts to restore order and rationalize the economic system. Whatever promises are made to the population, there is a tendency for the military to retain their hold over the political institutions. Examples include: Argentina (1966 and 1976), Bolivia (1971), Brazil (1964), Chile (mid-1973), Indonesia (1966), Turkey (1971 and 1980), and Uruguay (mid 1970s). Of the 45 black African nations, in 1990 23 were military dictatorships where no political parties were permitted.
Problem Type: D: Detailed problems
Date of last update 09.03.1997 – 00:00 CET