Militarization, Democracy, and Development
The Perils of Praetorianism in Latin America
By (author) Kirk S. Bowman
Publication date:15 November 2002
Length of book:304 pages
PublisherPenn State University Press
Do Third World countries benefit from having large militaries, or does this impede their development? Kirk Bowman uses statistical analysis to demonstrate that militarization has had a particularly malignant impact in this region. For his quantitative comparison he draws on longitudinal data for a sample of 76 developing countries and for 18 Latin American nations.
To illuminate the causal mechanisms at work, Bowman offers a detailed comparison of Costa Rica and Honduras between 1948 and 1998. The case studies not only serve to bolster his general argument about the harmful effects of militarization but also provide many new insights into the processes of democratic consolidation and economic transformation in these two Central American countries.
—Mitchell A. Seligson, University of Pittsburgh