This concluding chapter assesses the arguments of this study. The fundamental contention of this book is that consolidated democracies cannot exist without military elites committed to democratic governance, that their support is a necessary if insufficient condition of democratization. It also argues that the six settings—major war, civil war, military rule, communism, colonialism, and (re)unification and apartheid—present different challenges to would-be democratizers intent on crafting democratic armies and civil–military relations. Finally, it contends that it is virtually impossible to come up with a general theory that provides substantive and useful explanations for civil–military relations in such diverse political and socioeconomic environments. The chapter then outlines the policies and conditions that advance or inhibit the development of armies supportive of democratic rule.
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