This introductory chapter provides a background of democratization and the building of democratic armies. Democratization and the building of democratic armies usually commences in response to a major change that shocks the political system and sets it on a new path. The pivotal event may have been a long time coming or triggered in response to exogenous causes. Scholars of historical institutionalism refer to these events as “formative moments” or “critical junctures,” when the path of an organization or institution is set, confirmed, or changed. This book considers three contexts that follow such formative moments: after war, during regime change, and following state formation. The two subcategories of state transformation taken up in this study are those following colonialism, when a former colony becomes one or more independent state(s), and after (re)unification or apartheid, when two different political or social entities are joined.
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