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Demilitarization in the Contemporary World$
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Peter Stearns

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037894

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037894.001.0001

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Militaries and Modern States

Militaries and Modern States

The Comparative Evidence from Costa Rica and Honduras

(p.185) 8 Militaries and Modern States
Demilitarization in the Contemporary World

Kirk Bowman

University of Illinois Press

This chapter presents the best cases to understand the construction of the widely held assumptions that all viable countries have institutionalized militaries: Costa Rica and Honduras in the period 1948 to 1958. It is in this political space and time that Costa Rica demilitarized and Honduras militarized. The chapter focuses on the domestic and international dynamics in these two cases that produced such variance in militarization. The cases show that the local populations in 1948–1958 did not consider the military to be a necessary institution in a modern country, and that this view was constructed over time in Honduras. Through the prism of recent history in Latin America, it may seem natural to assume that Latin American countries have always had powerful military institutions. But this assumption is completely inaccurate for nearly the entire region.

Keywords:   institutionalized militaries, Costa Rica, Honduras, demilitarization, militarization, Latin America, modern country

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