Praetorians or Professionals? Democratization and Military Intervention in Communist and Post‐Communist Russia


Political Science and International Affairs

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Approaches to civil‐military relations that rely on a measure of ‘professionalism’ within a military's officer corps appear inadequate when applied to the post‐Soviet Russian military. Corrupt, suffering a catastrophic decline in prestige, riddled with delinquency in the ranks, and apparently lacking political support, and in other ways showing a lack of professionalism and respect, on reasonable expectations the Russian military would by now have intervened in the country's developing democratic processes. That has not happened: indeed, the general level of ‘praetorian’ behaviour appears to have declined despite declining professionalism. This poses a challenge to conventional theories of civil‐military relations in political science.