Within five years, some of the cadets to whom these remarks were addressed helped overthrow Kwame Nkrumah. Despite the warning, 'Politics are not for soldiers', the armed forces in Ghana – as in 14 other African states – assumed full political control. The military thus changed in Africa from relatively insignificant relics of colonial administration into prime arbiters of political disputes – settling arguments, in many instances, by the direct seizure of power. Praetorianism had reached south of the Sahara.
Praetorianism has been authoritatively defined as a situation in which 'the military class of a given society exercises independent political power within it by virtue of an actual or threatened use of military force'.1 A praetorian state, by elaboration, is one in which the military tends to intervene and potentially could dominate the political system. The political processes of this state favor the development of the military as the core group and the growth of its expectations as a ruling class; its political leadership (as distinguished from bureaucratic, administrative and managerial leadership) is chiefly recruited from the military, or from groups sympathetic, or at least not antagonistic, to the military. Constitutional changes are effected and sustained by the militaty, and the army frequently intervenes in the government.2
Militärregierungen in Afrika, noch stark kolonialer Ideologie verhaftet, versuchen bewußt oder unbewußt, den institutionellen Entwicklungsprozeß in ihrem Sinne zu beeinflussen und zu lenken, um dadurch ihre despotische Herrschaft zu festigen. Da die Institutionalisierung einer Politik heute lebenswichtige Vorraussetzung für jede Art von Entwicklung ist, stellt dies den besten Weg zur Machtsicherung dar. Diskussion der wahren Gründe für die meisten militärischen Staatsstreiche. Der Widerstand des Militärs gegenüber sozialem Wandel und Demokratie. Militärherrschaft und die Wiederbelebung des Stammesdenkens. (DÜI-Hlb)
Maxwell reviews 'Beyond Praetorianism: The Latin American Military in Transition' edited by Richard L. Millett and Michael Gold-Bliss. A book review is presented of Beyond Praetorianism: The Latin American Military in Transition edited by Richard L. Millet and Michael Gold-Bliss.
The article focuses on Pakistan and its divided society, and on its decades of characteristic irresponsible and unaccountable leaderships. It argues that a culture of mistrust and poor governance has facilitated fluid civil and civil-military alliances which have in turn legitimised praetorianism by either giving rise to inter-ethnic clashes and formentation of ethnic and sectarian violence, or formidable multi-ethnic opposition to civilian governments. These outcomes have consequently increased the utility of coercion and the saliency of praetorianism. (DSE)