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How German Is It? Military Professionalism and the Democratic Peace

Dr. T.R.W. Kubik

International Studies Association
41st Annual Convention
Los Angeles, CA
March 14-18, 2000


Images of German militarism play an important role in grounding the historical context of the democratic peace. Accordingly, militarism in Germany, and in general, is the result of a failure to develop sufficient democratic norms and/or institutions. Yet for an earlier generation of scholars, German militarism served itself as an explanation of this failure. Viewed by both groups as the legacy of an outmoded feudal society, historians and theorists outside of the discipline of political science are increasingly inclined to attribute Germany’s militarism to forces of modernization similar to those found in the development of other nations more commonly described as ‘liberal’ and ‘democratic.’

This historical challenge presents a corresponding challenge to both the empirical evidence and the theoretical structures at the foundation of the democratic peace literature. Failing to acknowledge the paradigm shifts inside and outside of their discipline, international relations scholars have under-theorized the formative role of the military as an independent variable in society, even when analyzing Immanuel Kant’s foundational work, Toward a Perpetual Peace.

If we are genuinely interested in understanding the possible relationships between democracy and the use of force, the social and political import of modern, professional military institutions must be understood historically, and theoretically. If, however, theorists continue to ask only questions to which the answers are a reassuring "no," we might then conclude that what democracies actually do with their militaries is simply intellectualize them out of the view of their pacific publics, while yet retaining the option of the use of force in classical realist fashion.

By always asking what German history was not, rather than what it was, one also runs the risk of posing questions to which the answer is always ‘No’.

David Blackbourn & Geoff Eley (1984:10)

Historians and political scientists of the twentieth century have relied upon an understanding of the course of German political and social development that posits an "alternative course" [Sonderweg] in contrast to the rise of Western liberal democracies such as Britain, France, and the United States (Meinecke, 1950; Gerschenkron, 1962; Moore, 1966; Dahrendorf, 1967; and Wehler, 1985). In the 1980s, however, historians of Germany began a debate that challenged this thesis by arguing that while Germany’s historical development was unique, it was not so wholly divergent as to suffice as an explanation for Germany’s illiberalism, authoritarianism, and militaristic aggression in the first half of the century.

Far from an irrelevant debate in an unrelated discipline, the work of Blackbourn and Eley, cited above, is directly relevant to both the content and the form of contemporary studies on democracy and the use of force. In terms of content, the image of militarism in German history plays a peculiar role that Oren (1995) has addressed as much for its absence as for its explicit inclusion. Secondly, in Blackbourn and Eley's quote there is also a formal problem. The "fact" that democracies do not make war on each other is the closest thing to an empirical law that the science of international relations has discovered, or so Levy (1988) and all subsequent citations to Levy assure us. Yet in asserting this negative fact (democracies relate to force such that wars do not occur, or dRf=~w), scholars of the democratic peace also run "the risk of posing questions to which the answer is always, ‘No.’" It is necessary, therefore, to pose the following question, the answer to which will be a positive fact (dRf=x). If democracies do not make war with their military forces, what do they do with them?

The majority of this paper is devoted to establishing the merit of asking what has happened to the image of German militarism in the literature on the democratic peace. Few social scientists would be willing to allow that revisions of historical accounts, whether due to new evidence, new interpretive methods, or new political considerations, are in themselves conclusive evidence for the proof or falsification of a theory. Increasingly, however, there is an awareness that differences in interpretations of the historical record are a problem for our research agendas, a problem that cannot be resolved through statistical manipulations alone. (Lustick, 1996) With enough change in the scholarly world of the historian, the evidence that earlier generations of social scientists offer for their general laws eventually comes to have a suspiciously historical -- if not utterly outdated — air about it. As a result, rather than continue to serve as a basis for the accumulation of knowledge, the histories which produced such data slip back under the purview of historians; chiefly those interested in the subtleties of historiography or the philosophy of history.

This cycle is perhaps more true of German history than the history of any other nation, or at least more manifestly obvious. The quarrels among historians of Germany offer political and social theorists an opportunity for more careful consideration of the relationships we are inclined to establish between democracy and the use of force, precisely because there are so many interpretations. Indeed, these various interpretations of a single question of German history provide a comparative sampling that will help to illuminate the forgotten side of the reciprocal relationship between democracy and the use of force. A close reading of competing histories will help us to arrive at a positive fact about that relationship in the second half of this paper.

I. History, Historiography, and the Identification of Causal Relationships

According to the standard definitions of democracy in international relations literature (Doyle, 1996; Gurr, 1990; Russett, 1993), the German Empire of 1871-1914 is held to fall short of the qualifying conditions that separate democracy and autocracy. Although this position is not without support among leading historians of Germany (Craig, 1978; Sheehan, 1978; Berghan, 1982; Wehler, 1985), Oren (1995) has made a convincing case for the "subjectivity" of these perceptions within international relations theory in general, and among advocates of the "democratic peace" in particular. In terms of political institutions alone, Germany’s status as a democracy in the Imperial period is indeed debatable. Moreover, as Oren suggests, this debate will remain subject (and hence, subjective) to professional historical reconsiderations such as those among historians of Germany in the 1980s (Oren, 1995:156, fn26), as well as the changing nature of German relations with the rest of the world (Oren, 1995:184).

Yet, if the assessment of Imperial Germany’s political institutions remains open to debate, in much of the social scientific literature today there is a two-fold silence regarding Imperial Germany’s military institutions, as well as the role military institutions play in liberal and republican theory. Oren (1995:156) himself remarks that: "It is the 1917 image of Germany, greatly magnified by the experience of 1933-1945, that pervades current American social science." Yet for Oren it is the image of Germany’s political institutions that is the subject of changing, and perhaps loaded, interpretations. There is little or no mention of the central role of German military institutions in framing our image of German political institutions, and this is a very interesting departure from the wider literature of American political science and sociology.

In a Waltzian sense (1959) Germany’s image can be organized in part around the autocratic figures of Wilhelm II and Adolf Hitler. Yet in the scholarly literature addressing this problem after World War II the central figure appears not in the person of an autocrat, but is rather the German military as a whole, and the Great General Staff in particular. Symbolized by the immediately recognizable Pickelhaube and Stahlhelm that adorned so many books on German history after the Second World War, the unique institutional structures and spirit of Prussian or German militarism were more often treated as the independent variable that explained the tendency to autocracy and illiberalism in Germany, rather than the other way around. (Vagts, 1959; Demeter, 1965; Craig, 1955; Huntington, 1957; Janowitz, 1960; Büsch, 1962)

From Oren’s perspective (1995), we can understand why this would be true after the war. Yet this militaristic image continued to play an important role in contemporary debates regarding war and society despite changes in the popular image of Germany after the "economic miracle." (Berghan, 1982; Giddens, 1985; Wehler, 1985; Geyer, 1986; Mann, 1988, 1996) Indeed, as Berghan (1982:4) notes, "Germany’s militarism came to be seen by many as a paradigm….even when people wrote on other cases of militarism, the German example was, in one way or another, often at the back of their minds."

It is odd, therefore, that the image of German militarism receives little consideration in the contemporary social scientific literature on the prospects for democratic peace. Indeed, the absence of this image looks very much like a generational paradigm shift, a sort of Historikerstreit American social scientists can call their own. Where German militarism is concerned we are not dealing with a cumulative narrative, but with a theoretical transition with profound consequences for the identification of dependent and independent variables. According to the "old school" it was militarism that drove autocracy, yet today, proponents of the democratic peace argue that autocracy leads to militarism. There are at least two historiographies at work here, and each implies a different causal relation between regime type and the use of force.

Thus, from the perspective of earlier work on this question there is a gaping hole in the literature surrounding the prospects for democratic peace; a hole through which an entire army might be driven. I will argue that it is precisely the military in its modern, professional form which stands in this hole, ready to execute the will of the juridical sovereign state in a manner which is much more consistent with classical realist theory in international relations than with liberal, or especially republican theory. Rather than address republican theory’s strong conviction that the army should be the voice and power of the people assembled according to the principles of a republican constitution (Machiavelli, 1965; Harrington, 1992; Hamilton et. al. , 1961; Kant, 1983; Kubik, 1998), theorists of the liberal or democratic peace have silenced the military and its use by treating it as a variable entirely dependent upon domestic political structures and norms of the state. Thus, I will argue that one of the things democracies do with their militaries is attempt to intellectualize them out of public view, while yet retaining the option of their use in classical realist fashion.

There is another, equally important "fact" of the democratic peace, and this is that there is not a single mention of the place of the military in republican theory in the central empirical studies on this question (Doyle, 1996; Gurr, 1990; Russett, 1993). American historiography and the social science based upon it assume that the military is a dependent variable -- "politically sterile and neutral," to quote Huntington (1957:84) -- which can be shaped by larger social and political forces, and thus largely, and conveniently, ignored. Yet today’s constant omission and under-theorization rests on an earlier generations’ historically conditioned interpretation of German militarism which were drawn in contrast to post-war ideals of the military in American society.

Thus, where the term "democracy" may present empirical and qualitative challenges to peace researchers at the end of the twentieth century (as it did to those at the beginning), the tendency toward "second image" analyses of international politics (Waltz, 1959) is yet fairly easily sustained through references to ‘bad’ states, understood primarily in terms of their excessive militarism. Even though seemingly unaware of the historiographical formation of this image, few would debate the powerful legacy of the image of German militarism. To take Oren’s (1995) argument a step further here, what matters is not so much why militarism occurred in Germany, but that it occurred and can be constantly invoked to define what we are, by what we are not. One need only think of the Bush Administration’s casting of Saddam Hussein and Iraq in terms of a military threat equal to Hitler’s Germany to understand the practical import of this image. Would Iraq have qualified as a ‘bad’ state without a massive army and its attendant Republican Guard? The answer, quite likely, is no. The very name of that threatening military force, however, begs the question I seek to explore in this paper.

The pattern of historical omission regarding the military seems to me to be a serious error in the theory of the democratic peace. The most frequently cited "foundational" text for contemporary liberal or republican international theory, Immanuel Kant’s Perpetual Peace (1983) suggests a much more dynamic relationship between the military and the state than is found at present in the social scientific literature, yet even this is overlooked. While this silence preserves the basic image of the ‘bad’ state as militaristic, it also allows theorists of the democratic peace to ignore the role of the military in society. To put it another way, to follow Blackbourn and Eley (1984), it allows a series of questions about the relationship between democracy and the use of force to which the answer is always, ‘No.’

II. Military Professionalism as a Salient Development in German Modernization and Democratization

Oren advanced the political possibility that we "subtly redefine our kind to keep our self-image consistent with our friends." (1995:147) According to this thesis, revision of the image of Germany’s militaristic past should be expected at a time when the re-unification of Germany and Germany’s increasingly powerful position in European politics require an historical interpretation marking the new nation as a clear and outstanding friend of peace and stability. Indeed, the enthusiastic public support of both the Bundeswehr and the governing Greens for the "moral crusade" in Kosovo suggests the extent to which forces in Germany are actively working to redefine the role of the German military on humanitarian terms. However, as NATO’s prudential deployment of these forces far from direct contact with their former and once again Serbian enemies shows, there is still an extent to which such revisions are quite difficult politically. There are, indeed, many who are unwilling to allow the external pressures of international political configurations to revise an interpretation they know to be a ‘fact’. (Maoz, 1997)

Yet debates over the German "Sonderweg thesis" (see Blackbourn and Eley, 1984:2, fn 3) suggest that the assumptions made by scholars of international relations regarding the German military specifically mislead with regard to two crucial variables. The first of these has to do with the general nature of the impact of mass society on the internal nature of states, and the military response to this impact in particular. The second pertains to the related effects of total war on states within the international system.

Mass Societies and Democratization

German historians writing in the 1960s and 1970s, such as those surrounding Hans-Ulrich Wehler (1985) and the so-called "Bielefeld school," actually support the general pattern of development advanced by theorists of the democratic peace. The rise of a mass society in the industrializing centers of the Ruhr and Berlin did in fact lead to internal pressures for an expanded franchise, and this also produced demonstrable changes in the structure of the Prussian, and then later German government. However, it has long been argued (Dahrendorf, 1967; Sheehan, 1978; Wehler, 1985) that because these reforms stopped short of producing a full-fledged bourgeois democracy on the model of the late twentieth century, German liberalism remained confined to an "illiberal society." (Sheehan, 1978) Thus the democratic status of the German Empire can be dismissed.

Following Oren (1995), I believe Eley (1996b) is correct to criticize this argument on the grounds of its ahistorical imposition on the German past. As the debate over close cases for the democratic peace such as the American Civil War or the War of 1812 shows, requiring of earlier so-called democracies the institutions and structures associated with their legacy in the twentieth century is a recipe for disaster in the pursuit of a genuinely historical comparative politics. As Eley, Oren, Ross (1991) and also Schmidt (1997) note, there were many in the United States and Britain during the nineteenth century who actually held the German constitutional model to be superior and more advanced when compared to the conditions in their own country, particularly with regard to bureaucratic rationality and administrative efficiency in the Weberian sense.

While Maoz (1997) can certainly offer counter-examples to these positive views, such counter-examples do not in fact prove that Germany was not a democracy in any sense of the term prior to the "zero hour" [Stunde Null] of 1945. All that such counter-examples prove is that the issue remains debatable. Regarding this debate, Blackbourn’s (1984) contribution seems much more likely to persuade than the prolonged exchange of received opinions. At the core of Blackbourn’s essay, and his subsequent research as well (Blackbourn, 1991), is the notion of a "silent bourgeois revolution" which, although it clearly lacked the dramatic upheavals of more typical revolutions, nonetheless resulted in "changes at many levels: in the law, in the advance of mechanical civilization, in patterns of sociability and the formation of a ‘public.’" (Blackbourn, 1984: 176)

Crucial to Blackbourn’s argument (1984:276-285) is an historical analysis of political reform at the level of local urban magistracies and rural governments, rather than through parliamentary coalitions. By arguing that reforms at this level were able to satisfy the demands of the German bourgeoisie, Blackbourn (and Eley) posit a refutation of the general theory that so-called bourgeois revolutions must be directly tied to democracy in its liberal, parliamentary form in order to satisfy the demands of the people. Democracy need not necessarily be tied to representative elites in a centralized political structure in order to be liberal. Indeed, from an anti-federalist position, it must not be. This is perhaps one of the more controversial propositions in their argument, for it allows the conclusion (1984:292) that "Germany was much more the intensified version of the norm than the exception." The Sonderweg thesis as a counter-example to traditional modernization theories, is therefore transformed into an alternative path toward hyper-modernization.

Like claims about the image of Germany’s democratic institutions abroad, Blackbourn’s argument is not beyond subjective interpretation. As he himself acknowledges, he and Eley do not destroy more traditional assumptions about a liberal society in an illiberal government. In terms of the literature on the democratic peace, however, this interpretation does afford a possible definition of the democratic response to mass society that has little to do with those variables codified in the standard empirical literature. If Blackbourn and Eley’s history is correct, a much broader database would have to be constructed before the notion of a ‘democratic’ German Empire can dismissed out of hand. This much Oren (1995) has amply discussed. More interesting for my purposes, however, is the impact which Blackbourn and Eley’s thesis has on the image of the German military.

The Response to Mass Society and Total War

In analyzing the relationship between mass societies and total war, historians of Germany in several different camps have found that rather than the expected liberal normative pressures for reduction in armaments to the benefit of trade and commerce, among the German bourgeoisie there are actually pressures for increases in military expenditures in order to support and promote German expansion into the international arena. (Berghan, 1982:29-37; Wehler, 1985:157-181; Blackbourn and Eley, 1984:118-126;263-4)

From the perspective of systems oriented international relations theories (Waltz, 1979), we might explain this phenomenon by means of a "security dilemma" (Herz, 1950) that resulted as neighboring states pursued (or were expected to pursue) similar increases. Hence the rise of Germany’s "army of millions" [Millionenheer] would be understood as a rational governmental response to changes in the international system. This structural realist analysis treats the military as a variable entirely dependent upon the sovereign’s ability to "read" the international system and respond accordingly. However, liberal theorists who draw upon second image analyses of the nature of particular states to challenge this perspective are often equally guilty of assuming that military force will function as an extension of the rational will of sovereign, democratic power desirous of peace, yet confronted by war beyond the confines of their "civil" society. Where there are exceptions to this rule among liberal theorists (Friedberg, 1992), there is still a sense that liberal institutions outside of the government promote military restraint as part of a rational calculus over which the military has little or no influence. Thus, rather than treating the clash of Waltzian theoretical perspectives as a point of contention, there is in actuality a point of agreement about the appropriate response to the dynamics of an anarchic international system. While Mann (1988:18) is surely correct to discount the corollary notions of an earlier time (Hintze, 1975) that the state’s organization is derived from that of its military, this does not absolve international relations theorists (of either image) from taking into consideration the state’s internal responses to the military’s own organizational demands in a mass society. The military is not only a dependent variable.

Scholars of international relations resorting to the image of German militarism must also acknowledge a reciprocal relationship in which the internal pressure for the franchise provided additional fuel for military increases, and vice versa (Wehler, 1985). The resulting internal politics [Innenpolitik] produced what might be called an internal "security dilemma" regarding sovereignty and the control of military forces, one which directly challenges structural realist and liberal statist assumptions that the military is merely an executive arm of the state. Here, Friedberg’s (1992) analysis is much more instructive, but in focusing exclusively on a contrast between the United States and the Soviet Union, Friedberg falls victim to many of the same stereotypes associated with comparing America to Germany. Indeed, these tensions may have been felt most sharply in Germany, but were in fact faced by all states which experienced the rise of mass societies, a point which contemporary historical sociology has established quite clearly. (Giddens, 1985; Mann, 1988)

Attempting to come to grips with these tensions, Mansfield and Snyder, (1995) have proposed a general theory regarding democratization and war which serves as a partial critique of social scientific literature on the prospects for a democratic peace in that it suggests that the mere presence of democratic institutions is insufficient if these are not adequately developed and stable. According to their argument, "In this transitional phase of democratization, countries become more aggressive and war-prone, and they do fight wars with democratic states." (1995:5)

This is an interesting corollary to the literature on the democratic peace, but it is in no way the structural realist critique of the literature it purports to be because it nonetheless assumes the validity of the core liberal argument. Mansfield and Snyder (1995:19) simply push back the liberal argument that it is "elites" (now threatened internally) who "use nationalist appeals to compete for mass allies with each other and with new elites," and that this competition often leads to internally defensive wars. As a result, Mansfield and Snyder’s critique actually serves to aid proponents of the democratic peace by explaining away many of the problem cases which result from close or questionable coding decisions. What Mansfield and Snyder obscure that Wehler, Mann, and Giddens do not, is that these transitions involve social and professional choices with regard to the role that the military plays in a society we might otherwise be prepared to categorize as ‘democratic;’ choices which the military are able to influence. Denying these states the status of democracy is equivalent to denying that there is a place for debate on the role of military forces in any democracy so defined. It is therefore equivalent to asking questions to which the answer is always, "No."

Yet perhaps this notion of an internal security dilemma can be used to re-open the central questions surrounding Huntington’s (1957) appropriation of Lasswell’s (1941) theme of the "management of violence." To the extent that the management of violence can be addressed in terms of democracy or autocracy, Huntington established that civilian control of the military in democracies cannot be understood as relying upon an institutional solution. Reviewing those arguments from Anglo-Saxon political theory that have traditionally pitted liberal society against the military (1957:143-162), Huntington returns to the idea (and ideal) of military professionalism which he identifies earlier in the work as the direct result of democratic norms, more than democratic structures.

Along with the modernizing forces of mass society and the nation-state (1957:32-3), Huntington frames his subsequent analysis of military professionalism with the initial proposition that proponents of democracy "attempted to shape military institutions in its pattern also. They substituted the representative ideal for the aristocratic ideal…" (1957:33-4) Such an ideal, normative image of military professionalism is crucial for Huntington’s notion of "objective civilian control." As he concludes in these introductory remarks, professionalism contributes to the "existence of a single recognized source of legitimate authority over military forces…" because "A professional officer is imbued with the ideal of service to the nation." (1957:35) By contrast, institutional checks on the use of force traditionally associated with democracy in Anglo-Saxon political theory remain a source of conflicting and dividing loyalties. Thus, according to Huntington, while professionalism is the genuinely democratic response to the internal security dilemma regarding the management of violence, it remains a normative rather than structural constraint.

Ironically, this interpretation of professionalism as an anti-ideological embodiment of universal rationality has a much greater tradition in German history and social theory than it does in the political or social theoretical traditions of America. Terms such as Hegel’s Beamtenstand (1952), or Weber’s Weltrationalität (1947) required translation into English during the twentieth century precisely because they were not a part of Anglo-Saxon political and social discourse. Yet at the same time Huntington was promoting the virtues of such professionalism in the United States as a solution to civil-military relations, scholars of German history were placing some of the blame for Germany’s illiberal autocracy on many of the same virtues. (Rosenberg, 1958; Demeter, 1965; and later, Habermas, 1968) The very notion of professionalism Huntington invokes actually may be to blame for German militarism, not the best check against it, precisely because it relies on social norms alone.

Clearly there is a need for a broader comparative perspective on this question, not least of all because it presents a serious challenge to the advocates of the democratic peace who, in their silence on the military, appear to share Huntington’s conclusions that democracy and military professionalism (read, restraint) go hand in hand. This is particularly necessary in light of the (re)writing of German military history in the 1980s and 1990s. Despite their political, generational and methodological differences, Bald et. al. (1985), Wehler (1985), Eley (1996b) and Geyer (1986; 1990) share a common position regarding the effect that the rise of technical professionalism had on the old Prusso-German military. In their own way, each author suggests that it was not the Crown itself, as an archaic, feudal institution, which retained control of the decision to use force, but in fact a group of "military professionals" who established their control on the basis of expertise in the "management of violence," and then used this new expertise to buttress conservative principles which had otherwise lost their hold on society.

Wehler (1985:146-150) begins his discussion of the army in Wilhelmine Germany by insisting that "the sovereign’s right of command survived as an essential element of late absolutist rule…" However the "one sided emphasis on technical military thinking" (153) comes to play an equally important role in explaining Germany’s decision to use force in 1914. Citing Bethmann-Hollweg’s memoirs, Wehler supports the idea that as "laymen" Germany’s political leadership "could not presume to pass judgment on military options, let alone military necessities." (154) Thus, Wehler concludes that "the First World War did not result from many years of deliberate planning, but simply from the ruling elites’ incapacity to cope with growing problems in a world which was rapidly heading in the direction of democratic forms of government. (200) On Wehler’s account, it was therefore not the centralized power of authoritarian government that plunged Germany into war, but the manifest deficiencies of that power when confronted by (or offered) a military option. Theoretically then, the structure of Wehler’s historiography is much more in keeping with the model advanced by Snyder and Mansfield (1995)

Blackbourn and Eley (1984) have been critical of the overall role that the Sonderweg plays in Wehler’s work, without wanting to overturn all of his conclusions. While they have little to say regarding the military directly, like Wehler their general framework is much more of a challenge to Huntington’s overall thesis than a support. While Huntington develops much of his image of military professionalism on the Prussian model, like Craig (1955), he describes the "tragedy of professional militarism" (Huntington, 1957:99-124) as being the direct result of the military’s untimely surrender of that professionalism to politics, and mass politics in particular. Such a surrender, however, plays into the Sonderweg thesis that Blackbourn and Eley sought to diffuse, and according to which an eruption of the masses was the logical outcome of Germany’s failed bourgeois revolutions. Like so many of the apologists for the German military after World War II (Ritter, 1972; Demeter, 1965) Huntington’s image of military professionalism looks back to the quasi-aristocratic Junker General Staff Officer as an idealized check against the forces of mass society (see especially, Huntington, 1957:464-466) Yet if Blackbourn and Eley (1984:80) are correct that there were few genuinely frustrated bourgeoisie waiting to explode in Germany, there is little need for this idealized check.

Nor, however, do Blackbourn and Eley then proceed to blame the "German Catastrophe" (Meinecke, 1950) on the "backwardness" of the Junkers and their military institutions. Instead, in another point of agreement with Wehler (1985) and Berghan (1982) it is the frantic pace of modernization in Germany that provides the best explanation. (Blackbourn and Eley, 1984:292) Whereas Wehler (1985) viewed the German military as an institution clinging to its position in the midst of a domestic struggle for power, Blackbourn and Eley’s (1984) overall historical narrative allows that the military may have experienced modernization as well. It was not just a backward institution in a modernizing society, but rather one that modernized at a pace that was threatening to many inside and outside the barracks halls.

This allowance has been well substantiated in the detailed works of Detlef Bald and his colleagues at the Social Scientific Institute for the Study of the Bundeswehr, (Bald, 1977; Bald, et. al., 1985), and Arden Bucholz (1991) has documented an important period of transitional modernization along "managerial" lines during the early twentieth century. My own analysis of the modern historiographical practices adopted by the Great General Staff in the latter half of the nineteenth century also supports these conclusions. (Kubik, 1997a:Ch.5) Yet it is the work of Michael Geyer (1986, 1990) that has done the most to promote the notion of an highly modernized German military.

Geyer’s general point in reexamining Prusso-German military traditions is that "traditions never simply exist and continuities do not just roll along. They have to be maintained by continuous renewal in a changing national and internal environment…" (1986:529) Thus we cannot treat the German military simply as a monolithic site of tradition or reform. In his attempt to analyze the German officer corps as a profession like unto other German professions, Geyer (1990:188) suggests that:

It was decidedly not aristocratic privilege, but the military’s ability to control and mobilize resources autonomously, which enabled the Prussian military to withstand popular rebellion and constitutional challenge. The newly gained (reformist) autonomy, in other words, was the prerequisite for the (restorative) struggle to sustain anti-constitutionalism.

Rather than placing the roots of German militarism in the age old traditions of a "backward" Prussian militarism, Geyer instead locates militarism in what the Prussian government itself, and many of its subsequent historians, referred to as the "revolution from above" which occurred between 1806 and 1819, and again during the late 1850s and early 1860s (Bald, 1977). Particularly with regard to the military in the earlier period of reform, this "revolution" was designed to make Prussia a modern and highly developed state; a response to the decisive defeat of the Old Prussian regime at Jena and Auerstadt in 1806-7.

According to Geyer it is also wrong to assume that the modernization implemented simply tapped into the nationalistic militarism of the masses on behalf of the nation-state. Rather, Geyer (1986) offers an account of the Prusso-German military which emphasize the resistance to mass participation in the military on the part of the older Junker families during the late 1800s, while denying (1990) that this resistance led to a reactionary "feudalization," or "militarization" of the bourgeoisie for elite purposes.

What then, was the nature of Wilhelmine militarism, and what, if any, social compromise did it sanction. Instead of describing the Liberals’ agreement to the Army Reforms of the 1860s as a failure of the German bourgeois, Geyer (1990:189) sees

the mutual agreement of core groups within the military and the bourgeoisie on the autonomy of experts and … the embrace of professionalism as the principle for the social organization of violence. Within the military context, it hinged on the rise of the general staff and its "scientific strategy." Within bourgeois society, it depended on the acknowledgment of a mutually beneficial division of labor between the social organization of production and the social organization of violence.

Geyer’s analysis fits Huntington’s professional ideal quite nicely. As he later notes, "both the social organization of violence and its articulation in terms of expertise were profoundly bourgeois." (Geyer, 1990:191) Indeed, this does seems to be what liberal democracies do with their militaries according to the (under)theorization of the military in the literature on the democratic peace; they isolate them and tolerate them so long as they fulfill their assigned function in the division of labor, and do so in a professional manner.

Yet the problem here for theorists of the democratic peace -- and opponents of militarism in general -- is that Geyer developed this case to explain why the unified respect for the division of labor and professional expertise actually served to undermine both military autonomy and civilian control. The bourgeois compromise which separates the military from society in such a way as to treat it as a concealed rather than celebrated extension of the sovereign state actually produces an endless need for negotiating the terms of this compromise regarding the management of violence. Yet in order to effect this concealment, these negotiations must themselves ultimately be concealed from the public. Huntington’s model works well only when one assumes that the compromise is a lasting embodiment of "democratic ideals" and "military professionalism," but if anything, the structural dynamics of this compromise work against this.

According to Geyer the military professionalism of nineteenth-century Germany existed to "contain violence , to make it purposive, and to turn it into an asset of the State [Staat] along classical realist lines (Geyer, 1990:197). Yet, renegotiated following the First World War, the consensus of twentieth-century Germany was to place the military in the service of the people [Volk]. (Geyer, 1990:198) As the notion of professionalism changed, so too did the notion of whom to obey.

This change in the concept of professionalism was, moreover, the direct result of the German military’s self-cultivated applied military "science," namely, the demand for increasing resources to respond to the phenomenon of total war that that "science" had produced. (Kubik, 1997a:Ch.5, 1997b) Geyer’s (1986:533) earlier summary of this compromise is worth quoting in full:

[The military’s] enemy was not civilian society, but society’s demand to participate in the process of determining strategy, which became a key problem with the concurrent rise of mass participation in national politics and mass armies.

On this account, we might say that while the civilians ultimately acquiesced to the demands of their military experts, these demands were made all the same in accordance with notions of a division of labor that fostered a desired form of "objective civilian control." Based on these very notions of a professional division of labor within a democratic society, the autonomy of both sides risked being destroyed by the discursive authority of the other, compelling a constant process of (re)negotiation. In 1914, this process of compromise faced a crisis sufficient to propel the armed forces and, therefore, the society that respected their professionalism, into war. Although the compromise was different, the same can be said of 1939. Such transitions would suggest that ‘military professionalism’ is a decisively historical rather than structurally enduring phenomenon, and this in turn undercuts liberal normative claims to its lasting influence.

To the extent that the other nations of Europe envied and copied the institution of the "modern," "scientific" Great General Staff, Geyer’s conclusions, like those of Blackbourn (1984), call for a complete reversal of the assignment of Germany to a "backwards" position in history placing it instead at the at the forefront of modernization, at least in this very specific sense. Such conclusions also call for a rejection of the mass militarist interpretation of German history that is often raised as a modernist counter-explanation for the "German Catastrophe." While the German military did indeed modernize its art by incorporating mass armies and machine warfare, German society also modernized its relation to the military by adopting a professional response to the phenomena of mass society and total war. Confronted by social unrest, external threats, and a society that accepted its professional judgment, the German military produced a form of "objective military control" rather than Huntington’s idealized civilian version.

While most historians and social scientists have come to recognize Imperial Germany as a society in rapid transition from it’s pre-industrial agrarian past to something resembling a modern industrial society, there is still a strong temptation to retain the image of her military as something separate and contemptible in that society; something irrevocably tied to the pre-industrial past in a way that made it reactionary, or allowed it to be swept away by the forces of modernization it sought to resist. Yet those who succumb to this temptation unwittingly reify the theoretical division between state and society their analyses are often meant to question. If the military is a part of society, and if society is in transition, then it stands to reason that we might look for evidence of that transition in the military as well. For all the talk of global social change, liberal theories of international relations do not consider the role of the military in such changes; nor, for that matter, do most democracies.

III.Kant’s Republicanism as a Challenge to Military Professionalism in Democratic Societies

We are now in a position to consider the role of the military in contemporary liberal arguments on behalf of the democratic peace at their source, the philosophical program set out by Immanuel Kant. While Onuf and Johnson (1995) argue that liberal democratic theorists who fail to understand the historical context of Kant’s views on commerce, cosmopolitanism, and the state have unfairly appropriated this text, an even more compelling argument for misappropriation can be made with regard to these same theorists omission of Kant’s views on the constitution of a republic’s defense forces. As we shall see Kant (1983) and Doyle (1996) are essentially at odds on the crucial issue of the relationship between the military and society, because while Doyle believes the liberalism provides a political check on the institutional will of the military, Kant ultimately believes that liberalism substitutes the will of the people for that of the military as an institution in a truly cosmopolitan society.

According to Kant’s program there are several "definitive articles" which must be realized together, these being republican constitutions, the sovereign rights of free nations in federation, and cosmopolitan right of individuals traveling in these free nations. (Kant, 1983:348-360 in the original pagination) These three "definitive articles" have been the focus of Kant’s contemporary advocates (Doyle, 1996) and the basis for much of the codification criteria in empirical studies (Gurr, 1990; Russett, 1993). As a result, even critics such as Onuf and Johnson (1995:185) turn their attention primarily to these articles. Yet Kant also outlined "preliminary articles" which weigh heavily on the prospects for perpetual peace despite the fact that he deemed their adoption unlikely. The abandonment of unfair treaties, the principle of non-intervention, and the prohibition against incurring debt for military expenditures are all considered to be important. As Kant predicted, none have been adopted. Yet the crucial causal nexus of Kant’s argument is that the preliminary whereby expansion of the franchise will to lead to a general reduction in warfare because the citizenry is obligated to military service in exchange for the franchise.

The notion of universal military service in a constitutionally sanctioned citizen militia is one of the most salient aspects of what Pocock (1975) termed the "Atlantic-Republican tradition," a theoretical tradition in which Kant might be justly said to be writing. Moreover, historically speaking the question of the militia is probably more important than the Physiocratic notion that war would be judged too expensive by a free society. In 1795 (and perhaps even today) economic analyses of the prospects for peace could be little more than theoretical speculation based upon assumptions drawn from emerging Enlightenment notions of human nature. By contrast, three years earlier, on 20 September 1792, a militia force of revolutionary French Carmagnoles repulsed the standing armies of the First Coalition -- including Kant’s Prussians schooled under the legendary Friedrich II — in defense of their newly proclaimed Republic at Valmy. The poet, Goethe, who was present at the battle, concluded that "from this place and from this day forth commences a new era in the world’s history…" (Creasy 1852/1995:340). In the context of an event of such concrete political importance as Valmy, it is hardly surprising that Kant might identify this revived form of military organization as a crucial preliminary to his own view of a cosmopolitan world order.

Yet the emphasis on universal service is nowhere to be found among the writings of today’s advocates of democratic peace. Talk of a citizen militia no doubt appears utopian in the age of total war and military professionalism, and is perhaps thus often overlooked by systemic realists. On the other hand, second image analysts drawing on select experiences of the twentieth century fear universal service and the idea of the "people in arms" as a form of mass militarism that leads to war. It is nonetheless the case that a citizen militia is a central tenet of Kant’s republican program. Standing armies (miles perpetuus) as extensions of the Crown must give way to self-armed citizens (civis armatus) serving as the manifestation of the popular will. Indeed, it is only in this way that one can assure that the cost of war — literal or figurative — will be borne by the citizens rather than by an overweening Crown.

Kant’s position in favor of a universal militia is not merely an attachment to a novel or revolutionary ideal, but a theoretical necessity to the entirety of his argument. In his analysis of the republican constitution (1983:351), we find that while Kant establishes consent of the citizenry as the key to perpetual peace, the causal variable in the determination of this consent will be their obligations as citizens, first among which is listed "fighting themselves":

the republican constitution also provides this desirable result, namely, perpetual peace, and the reason for this is as follows: If (as must inevitably be the case, given this form of constitution) the consent of the citizenry is required in order to determine whether or not there will be war, it is natural that they consider all its calamities before committing themselves to so risky a game. (Among these are doing the fighting themselves, paying the costs of war from their own resources, having to repair at great sacrifice the war’s devastation, and, finally, the ultimate evil that would make peace itself better, never being able — because of new and constant wars — to expunge the burden of debt.) By contrast, under a non-republican constitution, where subjects are not citizens, the easiest thing in the world to do is to declare war.

Doyle (1996) cites precisely this passage in advancing his arguments for the democratic peace, and yet he bases much of his overall case on the other points of Kant’s program. Nowhere in Doyle’s text is there mention of the military organization required by a "republican constitution," which Kant sets forth very clearly in his preliminaries (1983:345, Art. 3). I will follow Doyle’s lead in quoting from this preliminary article at length, because Kant himself best makes the case.

Standing armies (miles perpetuus) shall be gradually abolished. For they constantly threaten other nations with war by giving the appearance that they are prepared for it, which goads nations into competing with one another in the number of men under arms, and this practice knows no bounds. And since the costs of maintaining peace will in this way finally become greater than those of a short war, standing armies are the cause of wars of aggression that are intended to end burdensome expenditures….The voluntary, periodic military training of citizens so that they can secure their homeland against external aggression is an entirely different matter.

In this last sentence, the cannonade of the Carmagnoles at Valmy echoes loud and clear. When this preliminary is taken into account, the weight of structural constraints against war in nations with republican constitutions becomes undeniable. In a very literal sense, the citizenry will bear the cost of war because the citizenry, in large part or in toto, will be called upon to serve in it.

This is entirely different from the claims made by contemporary advocates of Kant who merely acknowledge that in a democracy the citizenry is potentially liable to bear the physical or commercial costs of war, and will take this into account before lending their political support. In a modern nation-state developed according to Huntington's model, a standing professional army composed of a small percentage of the population will do the fighting. Democratic institutions may still have some role in limiting the use of force, but from a genuinely republican perspective such an army makes the liberal link between democracy and peace seem vacuous. The structural necessity of congressional approval for war pales by comparison to that which would be had from universal citizen participation in military service and the decision to go to war, especially since even in our own day the constitutionality of congressional approval in the decision to go to war is a matter of debate.

In this light, Mann’s "spectator-sport" militarism (1986:183-187) is more relevant in our own time, both to the American paradigm case for liberal democracy and for the new interpretations of the scientific detachment of German militarism from the rest of society. In 1914, patriotic Germans joyously celebrated the military’s decision to engage a small minority of their country’s population (864,000 out of a population of 67 million in 1913, or slightly more than one percent of the population — 1.29% to be exact) in a calculated risk. (Wehler, 1985:148). The expert planning and rhetoric of the Great General Staff assured both the political leaders and the public at large that the calculations had been adequately worked-out. They had not. In 1991, 76 percent of American citizens supported American involvement in the Gulf War (Morin, 1991), yet less than 2/10 of a percent (roughly 550, 000 out of 260 million) served. That the calculations of the American General Staff were better has little if anything to say about their relationship to democracy.

Indeed, from the perspective of Kant’s republican plan for perpetual peace there is no significant institutional check in American democracy to prevent the use of our standing army. Instead, the very "spectator-sport" variety of militarism Mann (1988:185) describes -- in which there is "no real or potential sacrifice, except by professional troops" -- goes a long way toward encouraging the use of force in much the same way that the more notorious "sport of kings" once did in the ancien Regime. It is simply not the case that a significant number of citizens bear the burden of the decision to use force in war in a modern, liberal democratic society. That decision is made by ‘military professional’ managers who are rarely -- if ever -- elected, and subject only to public opinion; a constraint which the military is increasingly adept at influencing, if not controlling. The soldiers who serve under these "managers of violence" are no less pawns than those of the ancien Regime. We, like our aristocratic predecessors, can "afford" to use war as a continuation of policy and even to be entertained by it once in a while, so long as the drama runs in our favor.

For all this, it is not my point to argue only that the issue of the military in modern society is a crucial, independent variable in Kant’s schema that has not been realized. Nor would I necessarily recommend that we revise the empirical studies to learn whether nations with militia forces are more pacific than those with standing armies. Instead, I would keep our focus on the host of narrative and theoretical concerns surrounding the role of the military in society, and the ways in which the progressive peace has been predicated upon the essential absence of the military in liberal democratic society, without full consideration of the absence this role plays. If the democratic peace -- the realm of liberal security regimes -- is in fact predicated upon the standing armies of modern states, Kant’s vision is not only far from realized, but the democratic peace is, in itself, nothing particular in the history of political and international theory, even though these militaries may be, for all intents and purposes, invisible. The democratic peace is simply classical realism in disguise.

IV. Summary Analysis of Competing Historiographical Narratives of the Relationship between Modernization and the Resort to War

Traditionally, analysts of social/military relations have adopted Vagts' (1959) distinction between a more traditional, heroic "militarism" (most frequently associated with Prussia-Germany) and a "managerial" or "liberal" militarism such as is found in states where civilian control of the military is secure. If, however, German military history is taken to illustrate the adaptation of heroic militarism to managerial practices, then the acceptance of this adaptation by the bourgeoisie as an alternative to direct military service, and the global diffusion of this alternative via states erected on the professional model makes global forces of modernization much more problematic for those who would see the developing conditions for a "perpetual peace." Indeed, at this point it is perhaps valid to ask: Is not the "manager of violence" an archetypical war hero for modern society in general? Is not the General Staff officer controlling push-buttons from his underground bunker as isolated from society as ever were saber-wielding cavalry officers on their landed estates? (Kubik, 1997b)

Given the reductive tendencies inherent in blaming the incidence of war either on the reactionary legacies of the past, or the demagogic forces of the future, there seems to be a need for a more discriminate typology. I have been concerned primarily with the claims of the empirical literature on the "democratic peace," claims which I have argued are drawn from a myopic reading based on a presumed equivalence of liberal and republican political theory. These claims are themselves divided, sharing only a common empirical database drawn from an equally presumptive common history. Consideration of the case of German militarism shows that there are at least four separate histories at work, and that there is therefore a need to analyze these systematically.

To enumerate the first two of these four, there is the Liberal Institutionalist argument (Doyle, 1996) with its strong ties to the history of constitutional thought in the Anglo-Saxon world, and the Liberal Normative argument (Owen, 1996) with its connections to a separate, individualist, aspect of that same tradition. These arguments assume an historical relationship between the military and society in which the military is a feudal hangover from a past which society is moving to undo through the establishment of democratic political institutions and/or norms. As a result of this zero-sum relationship, the problem of the military in society is something that the state, in its progress toward theoretical perfection, will take care of itself over time. The perfection of democratic institutions will make the military unnecessary at home, and if so eliminated globally, international conflict will cease to be a possibility.

At slight remove from these two major conceptions, but nonetheless common to them, is the Transitional Liberal Institutionalist argument (Mansfield and Snyder, 1995; Wehler, 1985) which basically accepts the Liberal Institutionalist model while noting that the transition to democratic institutions is often difficult. Although more nuanced, this argument lends more support to the first two positions than it does challenge them.

Finally, among liberal theories there is what I will call Normative Military Professionalism (Huntington, 1957; but Janowitz, 1960 "constabulary concept" is also appropriate). Although its supporters imagined it as "realistically" distinct from the more common liberal/idealist constitutional and normative arguments, this view nonetheless derives its notions of "objective civilian control" from a progressive liberal belief that separation of the military from society in pursuit of its independently determined professional needs contributes to democratization, and thus reciprocally toward peace. Thus, I have categorized the argument as liberal normative overall.

There are two strongly contrasting historical patterns that make the opposite arguments. The first of these, drawn more as an afterthought or justification for the horrors of the twentieth century, can best be understood under the heading of Mass Militarism. Whether in the form of the German apologists (Ritter, 1972; Demeter, 1965) or more recently historical sociological accounts such as those of Mann (1996) or Giddens (1985), global forces of modernization in the form of mass society and industrial warfare are held to produce a new source of energy in support of militarism, one which poses a serious challenge to liberal assumptions, if not to liberal elites.

While arguments in this vein present an important alternative to the optimism of liberal theorists of the democratic peace, I hope to have shown through my analysis of German militarism that the historical line of causation appears to be the opposite of that drawn theoretically. While the masses are often blamed for their nationalistic and militaristic zeal, war remained something initiated by elites — broadly understood -- which granted the masses this role. (Mann, 1988:158) Thus, in a way, this militarism is structurally indistinct from that which the liberal tradition attacks. The socio-economic class of the "players" may have changed, but the problem remains the same. Thus, the solution might as well remain the same: progress away from states governed by elites will eventually lead to peace. Clearly, this is what Kant had in mind writing in 1795.

But elites are constituted by modern societies for concrete reasons, most of which have as much to do with perceived progress as reaction. (Weber, 1947) Thus, the problem of Mass Militarism is perhaps best understood by the proponents of what might be called Bureaucratic Professional Militarism. Similar to that of Mann’s "deterrence-science militarism" (1988:178-180), an isolated, professional military bureaucracy will eventually yield a challenge to civilian authority that that authority cannot resist, because it lacks the material and discursive resources to do so. This is true even where military forces are constituted on the democratic principle of a rational division of labor. In the works of German historians such as Geyer (1990) -- or earlier and somewhat distinctly, Hintze (1975) -- we find a link to earlier republican concerns about the role of the military and society, such as those counseling against professionalism in Machiavelli (1965), Hamilton et. al. (1961) and Kant (1983). Paradoxically, we also find concerns similar to those expressed by Lasswell (1941) which, although they were directed against Germany and not meant to apply to her democratic rivals, might nonetheless still shed some light here.

We should not rule out the socio-political possibility of a militaristic compromise between armies and liberal commercial societies which is something more than an elite manipulation of interests within the state. Such a compromise may represent a fragile moment in the life of modern societies, and this may depend as much on historical particulars as democratic norms and institutions. Indeed, this is precisely the sort of compromise Friedberg (1992) chronicles for us in American history. The historical fragility of such compromises does not necessarily make them undesirable as a part of the global spread of democratic societies, societies that generally prefer to avoid the issue of war. These are, nonetheless, historically specific compromises which may change over time. Unfortunately, it is the historically contingent nature of such compromises that is ignored in the contemporary literature on the democratic peace.

The reasons for this oversight have been elaborated in detail, but they can be further organized systematically into three general categories, shown below in Table 1.

Table 1: Categories for Relating Democratization to the Incidence of War

"Container State" Liberal Institutionalism Transitional Liberal
Sociology of the State Normative Liberalism Mass Militarism
Sociology of the Military Normative Professionalism Bureaucratic Professionalism
(dRf) Peace War

Both the Liberal Institutionalist and Transitional Liberal arguments subscribe to what Giddens (1985) refers to as a "Container State" model for civil-military relations. Accordingly, militarism is something that can be regulated by state institutions, and on its own poses no threat to the state so long as these institutions are properly structured and lasting. Theorists of this vein can thus ignore the four remaining arguments, which might be further sub-divided into categories of the "Sociology of the State" and the "Sociology of the Military."

From the perspective of sociologies of the state, Normative Liberal and Mass Militarist arguments are of some interest to theorists of the democratic peace because these argue for eventual changes in the structure of the state that might affect the state’s ability to control the use of force. Sociologies of the military, however, yield two conflicting possibilities.

Normative Military Professionalism remains marginally attractive for two reasons. One, it is an important foundation in the paradigm shift which justified military professionalism to a liberal society. Huntington’s notion of "objective civilian control" allowed the politicians to leave war to the generals, so long as they followed their political orders -- a perfectly progressive liberal compromise. Thus, theorists of the democratic peace are also willing to consider this perspective because it does not challenge the fundamental assumptions of political control evidenced in the "container state" models.

Bureaucratic Military Professionalism, on the other hand, is a direct threat to the model historiography of the democratic peace. In the first case, it takes a long, historical view rather than a short term, static view of the existence of democratic institutions. Bureaucratic military professionalism does not deny that the military may subscribe to democratic norms during times of stable democratic rule, but it does deny that this is a lasting situation rooted in democratic norms and institutions. Earlier republican theorists did not limit their investigations to the short histories of recent republics such as Florence or those in Switzerland (as do contemporary theorists who draw a line before 1813), but to the whole of the history of the West, from Sparta to their own respective presents. Machiavelli (1965), Kant (1983), and Hamilton et. al. (1961) all saw in forces of modernization the short term prospects for peace, and the long term prospects for corruption of this peace because liberal societies chose to ignore their military needs, deferring to professionals.

Such a realization is tantamount to admitting that however great the distaste for war in a free society, simple promotion of that free society will not lead to an utopian peace. Such a realization is also a direct threat to the literature of the democratic peace, which would prefer that a normative of peace dividend result automatically and permanently from democracy, one of the few "empirical laws" in political science (Levy, 1988) as it were, rather than remain a central question for public debate and social choice in a genuine democratic structure.

V. Conclusions: The Prospects for Peace?

It may seem to some to be a mistake of conflation to treat earlier republican theories of politics, domestic and international, with current claims about the pacific tendencies of democracies in liberal international relations theory. Much has changed in the intervening centuries. My argument, for example, does not disprove claims such as those of Owen (1996) and others, that shared normative commitments are the most compelling explanation of the empirical evidence. However, my primary aim has not been to disprove or critique the current social scientific literature on its own grounds, but to encourage those writing in this historiographical and theoretical tradition to consider the appropriated historical nature of these grounds, and whether or not it is appropriate to continue to stand on them.

What do democracies do with their militaries? If the comparison to Germany's bureaucratic military professionalism is understood as part of that nation's transition to democracy, the answer to this question is a professional compartmentalization which removes force from view in "liberal spaces" by means of a socially acceptable division of labor. This compromise in turn makes the authority of the military all the more powerful when it is needed, whether this need is felt by elites, or by masses with no direct links to the military. The "fact" that democracies are less likely to use force instrumentally does not mean that force plays no role in them, but that it plays a different role, one usually seen only when the military is frustrated in achieving its self-understood mission. Seen in this light, the Dreyfus affair in France, the evolution and control of U.S. nuclear strategy after the Second World War, or the Clinton administration’s numerous failed confrontations with the military on social issues such as adultery or the acceptance of gays in the military (Feaver, 1996) bear structural comparison to the German Emperor’s inability to control his military after 1916. Though such a comparison would not suggest political equivalency, it would produce a spectrum of instances where democratic norms are challenged and defeated by ‘military professionalism.’

Thus, while global social forces of modernization and democratization may promote freedom of speech and exchange in previously authoritarian states, and while these changes could lead to "normative" constraints on the decision to wage war, these tendencies alone provide no structural promise of Kant’s perpetual peace because the military yet retain the ability to influence, and even change these norms. This presents a theoretical challenge to social scientific literature on the pacific tendencies of liberal democracy. It is not enough to say, as do Mansfeld and Snyder (1995) that military forces get out of hand because democratic institutions are not strong enough to check them, as it can be shown (Geyer, 1990) that modern militaries possess the political, intellectual, discursive, and material resources to redefine the normative concerns of political institutions to such a point that politicians are disinclined — or even unwilling -- to exercise their restraining function.

So long as the organizational response to the internal security dilemma posed by mass society and the external security dilemma posed by total warfare is the development of a corps of bureaucratic military professionals for the scientific management of violence in society, whether in uniform or as civilian defense intellectuals, the hopes which Kant and other genuine republicans expressed for the spread of a democratic peace must be placed solely in historically variable normative constraints, and that which is historically variable provides no permanent or "law-like" guarantee. Social scientific research on this question may have yielded an interesting statistical anomaly (Farber and Gowa, 1995), but it cannot speak of an institutional or organizational framework which might be promoted as a viable foreign policy in the name of a lasting peace. Moreover, if one accepts the arguments of military professionals uncritically as the inevitable result of the rise of mass society and total war, it may be that these twin forces of global social change are directly antagonistic to Kant’s vision. Peace, on the Kantian model, will become perpetual only when the miles perpetuus is confined to the dustbin of history. For now, however, liberal democratic theorists, and perhaps so also liberal democratic societies, appear to prefer to keep this imperial relic out of sight and out of mind, but not necessarily out of the pursuit of foreign policy beyond the boundaries of their liberal world.


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