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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: The Perils of Praetorianism in Latin America. Penn State University Press, Recent political science literature has produced few works that are as compelling and important as Kirk Bowman's Military, Democracy, and Development.
Bowman's path breaking work makes significant contributions to important debates in the areas of social science methodology, the role of the military in Latin America, and the nature of Costa Rican and Honduran political development. Its magnificent research design and jargon-free presentation should make this book required reading in any advanced course dealing with Latin American politics or research methodology.
Bowman attacks the body of statistical research that has long associated high levels of militarization the size of the military budget and the size of the population in arms with development democracy, economic growth, and equity.
He argues that in Latin America unlike other regions of the world militarization hinders development, which is self-evident to any Latin Americanist. However, Bowman is the first scholar to demonstrate and explain this finding using both quantitative analysis and a set of comparative historical case studies i.
He contends that the consequences of militarization in Latin America contradict [End Page ] the conventional wisdom because of the historical conservatism and institutional autonomy of Latin American militaries, their internal security focus, and the Cold-War influence of the United States.
Bowman's historical case studies are fascinating and meticulously researched.
In his treatment of Costa Rica he challenges the established view that the country achieved democracy because of its exceptional culture, class structure, agrarian labor practices, or elite pacts. He contends that Costa Rican democracy after the civil war was extraordinarily fragile and the absence of a military is a major reason why democracy was finally consolidated in the late s.
Bowman is making a counterfactual argument here, but he persuasively uses Honduras as a comparative case study to support his contention. Bowman's discussion of Honduras illustrates exactly how militarization can obstruct democracy, economic growth, and equity.
In the s Honduras and Costa Rica looked broadly similar. Both were small and relatively homogeneous countries with abundant land, export economies, and relatively weak aristocratic classes.
Bowman argues that in some ways Honduras should have made been a more likely candidate for democratic development than Costa Rica, in part because the former had a history of a weaker military.
He shows that the Cold War policy of the United States fostered a dramatic militarization of Honduras and squashed attempts to emulate the Costa Rica's demilitarization. Moreover, he illustrates how militarization hindered the country's development both during and after the Cold War.
While Costa Rica was able to respond to the pan-Latin American economic crisis of the s by promoting new exports and tourism, Honduras remained and remains to this day mired in a debilitating struggle to distance the military from politics.
This beautifully organized and crafted work is social science at its best. Bowman has skillfully and comprehensively mined the relevant literatures. He has staked out important new methodological ground in the debate between large-N quantitative researchers and area-studies experts who analyze fewer cases with more in-depth historical analysis.
His study depends on and integrates both types of analysis, but his methodological argument is clearly stated: Only Bowman's two in-depth comparative cases allow him to understand why such studies of the relationship between militarization and development are dead wrong when applied toMilgram's The Perils of Obedience Obedience is the requirement of all mutual living and is the basic element of the structure of social life.
Conservative philosophers argue that society is threatened by disobedience, while humanists stress the priority of the individuals' conscience. The Perils of Obedience by Stanley Milgram (Summary Essay) Professor Williams English 23 Febuary The Perils of Obedience by Stanley Milgram In “The Perils of Obedience,” Stanley Milgram develops a experiment that puts to test the the question, “Will humans inflict extreme pain to others under the command of higher authority?”.
The Perils of Social Reading NEIL M. RICHARDS* Our law currently treats records of our reading habits under two contradic-tory rules: rules mandating conﬁdentiality and rules permitting disclosure.
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Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Music, reading, web-surfing, and Google searches, in this view, would all seem to benefit from being made social.
Not so fast. The sharing of book, film, and music recommendations is important, and social networking has certainly made this easier. Essay on A Summary of "The Perils of Obedience" - In "The Perils of Obedience," Stanley Milgram conducted a study that tests the conflict between obedience to authority and one's own conscience.