Civilian control of the armed forces is crucial for any country hoping to achieve a successful democratic transition. In this remarkable book, Narcis Serra, Spanish Minister of Defence between 1982 and 1991, explains the steps necessary to reduce the powers of armed forces during the process of a democratic transition. Spain's military reform proved a fundamental and necessary element for the consolidation of Spanish democracy and is often viewed as a paradigm case for the transition to democracy. Drawing on this example, Serra outlines a simple model of the process and conditions necessary to any democratic military reform. He argues that progress in military transition must include legal and institutional reforms, changes to the military career structure and doctrine, and control of conflict levels.
Narcis Serra is currently President of the CIDOB Foundation and the 'Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals' (IBEI). He is a former Mayor of Barcelona, Spanish Minister of Defence and Vice President of the Spanish Government.
Introduction; 1. The study of the transition to democracy; 2. Democratic transition and the armed forces: military autonomy; 3. What is military reform?; 4. The component parts of military reform; 5. Transition and military reform in Spain; 6. Consolidation and military reform in Spain; 7. Controlling the armed forces in the stage of democratic persistence: the debate in the United States over the last ten years; 8. Conclusions.