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19. Comparative Military Organization

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the changing paradigms of military organization as understood within sociology. It focuses primarily on military structures in the United States and Western Europe, with a brief discussion of the militaries of the developing nations. The chapter describes the social and technological changes that drove changes in military organization. It begins with an examination of the modern mass army of the 19th century and considers how the advent of the Cold War combined with the invention of nuclear technology and changing social norms led to the decline of the mass army. The chapter also considers the growing sociological interest in the military as a profession. It describes the period following the end of the Cold War as many national militaries began adapting to a postmodern world. The chapter concludes with a discussion of contemporary military structure and the effects of the global war on terrorism.

Keywords: Cold War; mass army; military organization; military sociology; postmodern world; terrorism



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