civil-military relations

Militaries Hold the Key to Power in a Dictator’s Endgame

Which factors shape the armed forces’ decision to boost or bust the rule of an incumbent autocrat in times of political turmoil? Political scientists at Heidelberg University analyzed non-violent mass mobilizations since 1946 and developed a game theory model that aims to explain the different military responses. Autocrats live dangerously. Although their average tenure is […]

Military Influence: the Hidden Power of Men in Uniform

Officers and generals have always been influential and powerful actors, who meddle with politics. Today not so much by coups and direct rule, but by pulling the strings in the background. A new dataset reveals these substantial but indirect political roles of the military. No political leader, democratic or autocratic, can survive in office without […]

Why Optimism is Fading in Pakistan

70 years after independence, Pakistan is caught in political chaos, and it seems as if the reasons to be optimist about the country’s democratic future got fewer. Next years’ elections could turn out to be a crossroads in its history. In a historic yet controversial decision in July 2017, Pakistan’s Supreme Court disqualified former PM […]

“Islamic Values Are Compatible with Democratic Values”

BTI Blog spoke with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of the Republic of Indonesia during the “golden decade” from 2004 to 2014, about the lessons from his military reform, the relationship between Islam and democracy, and the appeal of democracy among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). BTI Blog: Your Excellency, President Yudhoyono, […]

“I Enjoy Sitting down with Common People”

BTI Blog spoke with José Ramos-Horta, former president of Timor-Leste and co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, about the state of democracy in the country, socioeconomic challenges for the new government, and the role of the international community in post-conflict societies. BTI Blog: Timor-Leste has elected a new parliament on July 22nd, for the […]