Title

From Challenged Statehood to Democratic Civil-Military Relations: Defence Reform in Montenegro

Publication Date

1-2-2020

Document Type

Article

Department

Political Science

Publication Title

Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies

Volume

22

Issue

1

DOI

10.1080/19448953.2020.1715667

First Page

84

Last Page

102

Abstract

After gaining independence in 2006, Montenegro succeeded in establishing democratic civilian control over its armed forces in a short period of time, earning membership in NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program in 2006, Membership Action Plan in 2009, and NATO in 2017. This essay evaluates this swift process of defense reform in Montenegro and argues that such successful establishment of democratic civil-military relations was only possible because the 2006 referendum on independence settled the question of statehood and removed it from the political agenda. The same level of success was not possible in the prior union of Serbia and Montenegro, because Montenegro’s and Kosovo’s independence aspirations generated uncertainty regarding the country’s future and created incentives to maintain non-democratic civil-military relations, even as the country was undergoing democratic reforms in other areas. Once the question of statehood was settled, the new state was able to reform its defense sector and establish democratic control over its armed forces with unusual speed.

Funding Sponsor

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

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