Dissertation Project

A Variety of Political Control Strategies in Civil-Military Relations
Hwalmin Jin, “Controlling the Military in the Shadow of External Threats” (Chapter 1)
(
Available Upon Request)


Why do authoritarian leaders adjust their level of control over the military? My study investigates the impact of external security threats on the levels of control over the military in non-democratic regimes. I argue that authoritarian leaders loosen their control over the military as external security threats increase to preserve military effectiveness. With a low level of external security threat, leaders strengthen their control over the military. Using Bayesian item response theory, I measure a latent variable of control over the military consisting of various indicators of control of the military. A cross- national quantitative empirical analysis for the period of 1965 to 2005 reveals that authoritarian leaders with a high level of external security threat reduce the level of control over the military. With a low level of external security threat, leaders increase the level of control over the military. A key innovation of this paper is 1) providing a clear theoretical explanation of how external security threats affect variation in the levels of control over the military,  and 2) suggesting consistent empirical support for my explanation by developing a robust measure of control over the military.
Hwalmin Jin, “Civil-Military Relations and Peaceful Conflict Management” (Chapter 2)

My study examines the effects of civil-military relations on conflict management. Relatively few studies explore the connection between peaceful dispute resolutions and civil-military relations. I argue that authoritarian leaders try to settle interstate territorial disputes and civil wars through peaceful settlements to decrease the level of external security threat.