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9781421415178
9781421415161
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January 2, 2015
9781421415161
English
264
98000
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$59.95 USD, £44.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Defect or Defend

Military Responses to Popular Protests in Authoritarian Asia

Although social movements and media can help destabilize authoritarian governments, not all social protest is effective or culminates in the toppling of dictatorships. Frequently, the military’s response determines the outcome.

In Defect or Defend, Terence Lee uses four case studies from Asia to provide insight into the military’s role during the transitional phase of regime change. Lee compares popular uprisings in the Philippines and Indonesia—both of which successfully engaged military support to bring down authoritarian rule—with protest movements in China and Burma which were violently suppressed by military forces.

Lee’s theory of "high personalism" and power-sharing among the armed forces leadership provides a framework for understanding the critical transitory phases of democratization. He uses this theory to review and assess Eastern Europe’s democratization events in 1989, the Colored Revolutions of the early 2000s, and the protests and revolutions unfolding in the Middle East. This book will appeal to students and scholars of comparative politics, Asian studies, security studies, and international relations, as well as defense policymakers.

About the Author

Terence Lee is an assistant professor of political science at the National University of Singapore.

Endorsements

The strength of Defect or Defend lies in its exploration of a neglected issue: military defection from authoritarian rule during popular uprisings.

- Mark R. Thompson, City University of Hong Kong

This book is an important contribution to the literature on Southeast Asian civil-military relations. Lee tackles an important problem—how the armed forces of authoritarian regimes respond to popular upheavals and why—with great competence: his research is exhaustive and he presents his case clearly and persuasively. This volume should be on the shelf of all those interested in the region and its armed forces.

- Zoltan Barany, author of The Soldier and the Changing State: Building Democratic Armies in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas

Why would militaries defend a dictator against popular protests? When do they defect from an autocrat and why? When the so-called Arab Spring exploded, the scholarly debate on these questions gained momentum. This book makes a tremendous contribution to this scholarly debate through a unique combination of thorough theorizing and in-depth case studies drawn from the spectrum of Asian autocracies. It is relevant for all scholars interested in the study of civil-military relations, the survival or collapse of authoritarian rule, or the dynamics and outcomes of regime contentions.

- Aurel Croissant, Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University

Terence Lee convincingly demonstrates how personalistic authoritarian regimes foster splits within the officer corps that lead disaffected soldiers to align with civilian protesters. In doing so, the author restores the armed forces and civil-military affairs to their rightful place in the study of authoritarian regimes and why they fall.

- David Pion-Berlin, University of California, Riverside

Reviews

A model for case study research.

- Choice

Defect or Defend not only provides an interesting and provocative argument but also includes detailed empirical material that allows the reader to extend that analysis even further.

- Political Science Quarterly

...a valuable contribution to the literature on popular revolt and regime change.

- Survival
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9781421415161 : defect-or-defend-lee
Hardback
264 Pages
$59.95 USD
9781421415178 : defect-or-defend-lee
Electronic book text
264 Pages
$59.95 USD

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