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Marcos Robledo

The purpose of this chapter is to consider Chilean civil-military relations, the social upheaval or estallido social of 2019, the COVID-19 emergency, and the beginning of the constituent process. It begins by considering the return to democracy and the civil-military relations advances that, from a historical perspective, reversed previous practices of militarism, understood as the militarisation of politics whether by civilians or military, including the Pinochet authoritarian regime. The chapter also discusses how democratisation allowed for civil-military relations to make important advances toward an increasing, institutionalised democratic civilian control and effective governance over the defence and the military. More recently, however, there is a growing militarisation of the civilian governance, which has led civil-military relations to a new phase. The first section places the Chilean experience in historical perspective. The second section explains the basic characteristics of Chilean civil-military relations and their evolution, especially from 2010 onwards, with the first structural reforms of the sector begin, and their link with the Chilean political and institutional crisis. The chapter concludes that the country’s future is open, and its outcome, which should include a new constitution, will indicate whether Chile deepens its remaining dynamics of deconsolidation and militarisation, or whether it moves towards overcoming its severe democratic deficits and a deeper process of democratic consolidation.

in Governing the military
What happens when good chaps do not behave
John Bowers

The rule of law is central to our constitution and goes beyond the law as it is applied day to day. The authors look at the separation of powers and the conventions that support this concept, before returning to the crucial question of the rule of law and its infringement. The conventions of the constitution are generally informal understandings, some of which have crystalised over many centuries. For the great constitutional authority A. V. Dicey, writing in the 1880s as a Whig jurist, conventions were principally customary rules that determined the way discretionary or prerogative powers would be exercised. Some of the key conventions are collected together in some form in the Ministerial Code. An example is that ‘ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister’, to which we will turn in a moment.

in Downward spiral
Abstract only
Carlos Solar
and
Gregory Weeks

This chapter argues that peaceful high-income countries can enter a phase of what others have termed ‘defence austerity’, in which budgets are cut and military structures put to question. There is a lack of studies that can contextualise what occurs in nations after democratisation, becoming, among other things, more institutionally responsible, financially sustainable, and risk-averse to the idea of traditional war, such as Chile. The defence austerity trade-off has reinforced a desire for more transparency in military expenditure and the depoliticisation of the armed forces, moving away from the legacy of Pinochet’s dictatorship. Defence austerity has been partly embodied in military expenditure, which dropped from 4,2 per cent in 1990 to less than 2 per cent as a share of GDP. Meanwhile, in the same period the nation has become richer, climbing from US$ 2,300 to US$ 15,400 on the GDP per capita index. Considering a slow economic growth for the advanced democracies and the emerging markets in the years to come, the chapter explores defence policymaking under austere budgeting. It presents evidence to argue that politicians struggle to finance a myriad of public policy areas in which defence and security compete for resources that could be well provided to health, education, employment, or housing. The chapter concludes that more stringent measures of financing and money allocation should be put in place.

in Governing the military
Abstract only
Collapsing public standards and how to restore them
Author:

The Johnson era will be remembered for a series of scandals that severely eroded trust in the British government. In this book, the author presents a fearless examination of the decline in ethical standards before, during and after the Johnson government. He focuses on the institutions responsible for holding the government accountable, exposing how they have been bypassed by prime ministers determined to impose their agenda. Through interviews with political insiders, the author provides analysis of scandals such as partygate, Greensill and the revolving door with the private sector. He shines a light on a culture of favouritism, where standards are upheld based on little more than the assumption those in power can be trusted to behave. The decline in public standards is happening despite the existence of a complex, reasonably well-staffed and wide-ranging web of committees and structures that act as guardians. There is a confusing patchwork of such bodies. The author also reviews in particular the work of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the National Audit Office, the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, the Commissioner for Public Appointments, the Civil Service Commission, the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests, the Electoral Commission, the House of Lords Appointments Commission and the Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists.

Carlos Solar
and
Markus Hochmüller

This chapter asks why military corruption persists in democratic Latin America and what the drivers of this corruption are by looking at the governance of the military from a comparative perspective in two very different cases: Chile and Guatemala. It argues that the institutional autonomy and corresponding prerogatives of the military, dating back to authoritarianism in Chile and civil war in Guatemala, are crucial to understanding the ongoing reproduction of corruption. The chapter focuses on how institutional privileges promoted or at least provided a fertile ground for corruption to take place. It gives insights into how the institutional design and position of the armed forces in post-authoritarian societies facilitates military corruption. While Chile and Guatemala show significant variation in democratic consolidation, transparency, and corruption perception, their military corruption cases are strikingly similar. In both countries, the authors find evidence of corrupt endeavours in all branches of the military: clandestine networks of officers embezzling funds for private gain; informal networks that seek to channel funds for illicit use; and complex webs of dependencies between the armed forces and private business, military industry, politics, and organised crime. The cases of Chile and Guatemala suggest that the third wave of democratisation has not erased corrupt practices in the military – an institution regarded as the carrier of modernisation during the Cold War period.

in Governing the military
The armed forces under democracy in Chile
Editor:

Governing the military combines the study of governance, democratisation, and policymaking to explore how military politics have unfolded since the return to democracy in Chile. The book presents a story of detailed passages that make up a large part of Chile’s democratic path. It offers new empirical analysis to major areas of research in the study of the state, addressing the changing roles and missions of the military evidenced in the post-Cold War era and unpacking the fundamental challenges to democratic governance, most importantly, control and oversight of the defence sector. The contributors to the volume offer insightful and new analysis to pressing military issues, among them: mission and role effectiveness, defence spending, inter-agency coordination, international engagements such as military alliances and peacekeeping operations, and anti-corruption measures. The book also introduces the reader to failed policies, lack of attention to governance, and decaying democratic practices in the region. It provides comparative perspective to Chile’s cumulative policies (i.e., constitutional, presidential, and ministerial orders for military governance) and the current and future outcomes these have had in the armed forces, including resistance to changing corporate privileges. The analysis is complemented by discussing the themes of the militarisation of public security, and the ongoing policy, governance, and democratic challenges when using the military’s capacity to crush protests, and their role in the coronavirus pandemic.

Abstract only
‘No rules were broken’
John Bowers

Perceptions of conflicts of interest corrode trust in politics and politicians, and the Greensill scandal did so in spades and at many different levels. It is a story of weak governance, lax oversight and the mingling of the public and private sectors in a way that was bound to lead to manifold conflicts of interest. He was appointed as an unpaid adviser on supply chain finance to David Cameron’s government. Nigel Boardman was seen by Number 10 as the very man for the task of reviewing the aftermath of the Greensill affair. To deal with the specifics of the Greensill case, Boardman recommended that the appointment letter for direct ministerial appointees such as Greensill should include the name of the appointing minister. Part 1 of the Boardman Review demonstrated the problems caused by ministers making ad hoc appointments to ill-defined roles.

in Downward spiral
Bullying, wallpaper, parties 45
John Bowers

The case of Priti Patel and the Independent Adviser, which played out in 2019, was unusual and set many precedents. It raises in particular the seventh Nolan Principle, which requires office holders to treat others with respect and to challenge poor behaviour. It was the first time a Permanent Secretary sued the government for bullying after he resigned. The First Division Association brought Priti Patel before court, but the result of the action was somewhat equivocal. This was the first time a breach of the Ministerial Code had been the subject of legal action. This chapter looks in more detail at the role filled by Sir Alex Allan, then for months by no one and then by Lord Geidt, then by no one again for a long time and now by Sir Laurie Magnus, a former banker and the Chair of Historic England.

in Downward spiral
Kristina Mani

This chapter examines the expansion of Chile’s international engagement, most notably peacekeeping, the military’s corresponding adoption of new roles, and how internationalisation has impacted military and civil-military relations more broadly. It argues that Chile’s internationalism is a product not only of the historical global moment or its transition to democracy but a result of the special responsibility the state and its armed forces bear in the wake of the military dictatorship. Explaining Chile’s turn to international engagement requires recognition of enabling conditions that set the stage for this shift. These include the transnational changes that took place at the end of the Cold War in the historical moment of Chile’s transition to democracy, as well as the country’s peculiar history during the military dictatorship years. The chapter examines the expansion since the 2000s of international missions in the areas of peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance, and disaster management, and explores recent debates over the costs and benefits of contributing to these. The impact of the military’s international engagement is evaluated as well as the merits of peacekeeping missions and the impact of other missions for the resilience of democratic practices at home. The chapter concludes that international engagement has been overwhelmingly beneficial to the evolution of civilian control and therefore to Chile’s democratic development, although Chile seems to have reached saturation point and its civilian leaders will need to consider carefully what kind of international engagement can best maintain what has been achieved so far.

in Governing the military
Abstract only
Falling standards (and masonry)
John Bowers

Westminster Hall, within its curtilage, was the site of Simon de Montfort’s first Parliament in 1265. There were many factors at work from 2019 to 2022, besides the personality of the Prime Minister and his erratic and sometimes immoral leadership. Those three years were a tumultuous time, and there was increased anger and vitriol in our political discourse, injected by the divisiveness of having gone since 2010 through four general elections and three referendums, as well as the long-running deadlock over Brexit and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was not interested in surrounding himself with major figures. The decline in public standards is happening despite the existence of a complex, reasonably well-staffed and wide-ranging web of committees and structures that act as guardians.

in Downward spiral