Civil-Military Relations, Reading Course

This reading course focuses on the relationship between the political and military elites in different political systems.

It encompasses democratic civil-military relations theory and the central issue of how to strike a balance between the need to maximize the protective value that the armed forces can provide and at the same time minimizing the domestic coercive powers that the same forces will inevitably possess.

Put simply; how to achieve both firm civilian control and military effectiveness? This is often a more complex task in authoritarian states, where military coups and other forms of military involvement in politics is common. Different cases are used to illustrate and explain variations both between democracies and non-democracies, as well as between authoritarian states.


Dr Sofia Ledberg is Associate professor of War Studies at the Swedish Defence University. Her research is located in the nexus between politics, society and the military and she has studied the political governance of the armed forces in democracies as well as in authoritarian states, and the professionalization of the officer corps.

She has also been teaching and researching military affairs and international relations in Northeast Asia, with a special focus on the People’s Republic of China.


Sofia Ledberg

Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer +46 8-55342554