IUS - The Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society

Call for Papers: Political-military relations and the survival of autocratic rule

Panel on the 2015 Biennial Conference of the IUS on Armed Forces and Society

Control of the military by the political leadership is a crucial prerequisite for the stability and survival of any political regime. However, in authoritarian regimes this problematique is particularly critical, as it poses a double challenge for regime leaders: Due to the high vulnerability of regime security to horizontal and vertical challenges, all autocracies must guarantee their military’s continuous willingness to defend the regime against internal and external challenges. At the same time, the military poses a constant threat to the survival of the dictator. How dictators handle this double challenge, however, has thus far been only inadequately theorized or analyzed from a comparative perspective, and we do not really know how autocrats ensure the military’s cooperation – or how exactly they fail to do so.

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Call for Papers and Participants: ERGOMAS: Special Operations Forces (SOFs) around the World: Perspectives from the Social Sciences

Despite consistent downsizing, over the past two decades the armed forces of the industrial democracies have seen an impressive growth in special operations forces (SOFs). Whether in terms of personnel or units, the quantity of commands and supporting forces, budgets and technologies at their disposal and their overall role expansion these forces have seen unprecedented development. These trends are related to developments in the complex environments of the armed forces of the industrial democracies that include the emergence of the "New" or "Hybrid" Wars (the interweaving of high-intensity encounters, terrorism, insurgencies or other forms of violence), an emphasis on "precision warfare" (derived from social expectations regarding casualties), technological advances (allowing small units to deploy massive firepower), and budgetary constraints (it is cheaper to maintain small units rather than massive formations).

For more information and to submit a proposal, click here.

Call for Papers and Participants: 13th ERGOMAS Conference

Ra’anana, Israel, June, 8-12 2015

The European Research Group on Military and Society (ERGOMAS) is organizing a conference on the topic of research on military and society hosted by the Open University of Israel in Ra’anana Israel (15 miles from Tel Aviv). Conference dates are 8-12 June 2015.

The theme of the conference will be From Diversity Management to Conflict Regulation (see below for additional detail). More detailed information on ERGOMAS, the Working Groups, and eventually further information about the conference can be found at the ERGOMAS website: http://ergomas.ch/.

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Registration Now Open for IUS/Canada 2014

Click here to begin registration for IUS/Canada 2014. All conference events will take place at the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa (100 Elgin St.). Hotel information will be available shortly.

Conference-related program inquiries can be directed to Dr. Sarah Hill at sarah.hill@rmc.ca or 613-541-6000 x 6017.

Call for Papers for the 2015 Biennial International Conference of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society Now Available

The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois, USA October 30-November 1, 2015

DEADLINE: February 1, 2015

The Biennial International Conference of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society will be held in downtown Chicago, Illinois, at the Palmer House Hilton on October 30-November 1, 2015. The Program Committee is currently soliciting proposals for individual papers and for panel sessions.

2015 Conference panels will begin Friday morning, October 30, with panels both morning and afternoon and the IUS Welcome Reception and Dinner that evening. The conference concludes Sunday, November 1, at noon. Please plan to arrive on Thursday, October 29, 2013.

For more information and to submit a proposal, click here.

IUSAFS Releases First Podcast Interview

As part of OnlineFirst, by which forthcoming articles are published online before they are scheduled to appear in print, Armed Forces & Society has released a podcast interview on an article in an upcoming issue. Listen to our Editorial Assistant Colin Smith interview Dr. Neil J. Diamant about his article with co-author Dr. Kevin J. O'Brien titled "Contentious Veterans: China’s Retired Officers Speak Out.”
What drives retired military officers in China toward contention? Decades of research on protest has produced little on veterans’ collection action, and even less on that by ex-officers. Newspaper reports, police journals, and veterans’ blogs show that contention by Chinese former officers (ranging from occupying government compounds to marches, mass petitioning, open letters, and class action lawsuits) is the result of bad luck in post-military job assignments, a fragmented political system that makes it difficult to ensure that pensions and other benefits reach retirees, and pervasive corruption that leads ex-officers to feel that local officials have embezzled funds meant for them. Contention by former officers typically uses military rhetoric and builds on military experiences, even for former officers who were employed in civilian jobs for many years. Although contention by ex-officers is not likely to rock the state, it says much about how “sticky” military identities are, where veterans fit in the political landscape, Leninist civil–military relations, and the treatment that old soldiers receive in a fast changing socioeconomic order.
Listen to the podcast interview here.

Call for Papers Special Issue of the Turkish Journal of Sociology on Military Sociology

Deadline for Article Submission March 31, 2015

The Turkish Journal of Sociology wishes to publish its first issue devoted to military sociology. First published in 1917, The Turkish Journal of Sociology is a publication of the Department of Sociology of the Istanbul University Faculty of Letters, the first and leading sociology department in Turkey. The Turkish Journal of Sociology is a peer-reviewed, biannually published journal (http://journals.istanbul.edu.tr/iusosyoloji).

Modern militaries have undergone considerable change in recent decades. This is a reflection of dramatic changes in society, including changes in inter- and intra-state politics, public opinion, civil-military relations, demographics, and both short-and long-term military engagements around the world. Within Turkey, issues surrounding the military have received considerable attention in the political science, military history, and military science arenas. However, amid the quickly changing contexts in which its military operates, in tandem with its importance domestically and internationally, Turkey remains an understudied country in the field of military sociology studies.

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Camacho Advising for Peace in Somalia



Meeting at the conference, in Mogadishu, from left to right, Hassan Madadallah, Professor in the Nelson Mandela School at School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Southern University and A&M College; Paul R. Camacho, an IUS Fellow, William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences, University of Massachusetts, Boston (retired); and Abdi Dirshe, an IUS Fellow and Permanent Secretary, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Dr. Paul R. Camacho, a long-time IUS Fellow, was invited by the Federal Government of Somalia to participate in its Conference on Internal Security held in Mogadishu on 20-23 April 2014.

 

Camacho made a formal presentation on Security Sector Reform: Challenges and Opportunities. He emphasized the importance of taking a holistic rather than a purely military approach to overcome security problems.

In particular, he argued that achieving internal security requires a reconstruction of Somali's civil society that draws on leadership from all sectors of government. Others offered similar or related arguments.1

Yet the path to peace remains a rocky one. The UN has established a UN Guard Unit (UNGU) with troops provided by the Uganda People's Defense Forces to help create safe and secure conditions so that peace and state building programs might succeed. 2


1""7 Points Communiqué on Strengthening Somalia's National Security,"" Somalicurrent news,"" accessed May 19, 2014 online at http://www.somalicurrent.com/ 2014/04/24/7-points-communeque-on-strengthening-somalias-national-security/

2""Somalia: UN deploys new special force to protect staff in Mogadishu,"" UN News Centre, accessed May 19, 2014 at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.as?NewsIS=47820#.U3pgdCj49uA

2013 Morris Janowitz Career Achievement Award Ceremony

The Morris Janowitz Career Achievement Award is awarded by the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society to a limited number of senior scholars whose careers most demonstrate excellence in the study of armed forces and society and important service to the discipline. The winners of the 2013 Award were Reuven Gal and John Allen ("Jay") Williams.



Click here for more information on the award and past recipients.

IUS Conference Photos Available Online

The 2013 IUS Conference photos are now available on the IUS Facebook page. Click here to view and download the photos.

This is also a good opportunity to "like" the IUS on Facebook if you would like to keep up to date on IUS news through social media.

The IUS Expands to Social Media

The IUS has expanded our online presence by setting up accounts on each of the main social networks. From Twitter and Facebook to Google+ and LinkedIn, the IUS's new social media initiative will notify you of all IUS updates. In addition to news from the IUS, we're going to be working to use each of these hubs to allow IUS Fellows to meet and sustain the kind of professional relationships that make Fellowship such a worthwhile pursuit.

Social networking allows organizations like the IUS to continue the conference experience to our membership through the entire year by providing discussion platforms for research, opportunities, and conversation. With the addition of a YouTube account, we'll also be able to make video content available.

There's no need to follow every account; information will be shared across all platforms while continuing to be posted here on the IUS website. Add the IUS on your preferred network and you'll start connecting with your peers instantaneously.

 

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The Morris Janowitz Career Achievement Award

The Morris Janowitz Career Achievement Award is awarded by the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society to a limited number of senior scholars whose careers most demonstrate excellence in the study of armed forces and society and important service to the discipline.

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