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Arms and the University
Military Presence and the Civic Education of Non-Military Students

$37.99 (P)

  • Date Published: February 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521156707

$ 37.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Alienation between the U.S. military and society has grown in recent decades. Such alienation is unhealthy, as it threatens both sufficient civilian control of the military and the long-standing ideal of the “citizen soldier.” Nowhere is this issue more predominant than at many major universities, which began turning their backs on the military during the chaotic years of the Vietnam War. Arms and the University probes various dimensions of this alienation, as well recent efforts to restore a closer relationship between the military and the university. Through theoretical and empirical analysis, Donald Alexander Downs and Ilia Murtazashvili show how a military presence on campus in the form of ROTC (including a case study of ROTC's return to Columbia and Harvard universities), military history, and national security studies can enhance the civic and liberal education of non-military students, and in the process help to bridge the civil-military gap.

    • Develops a theory of liberal and civic education and applies it with surveys of military and non-military students as well as dozens of interviews with key players at major universities such as Harvard, UW-Madison and Columbia
    • Provides a unique history of the Reserve Officer Training Corps in the Ivy League and elsewhere, including the rebellions against the program in the late 1960s and the major efforts in recent years to restore ROTC to campuses that effectively banned it back then
    • Provides a unique discussion of the plights and status of military history and security studies as fields of inquiry, as well as a theory of civic and liberal education that is linked to these scholarly endeavors
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Distrust or disdain for ‘the military’ may foster one’s isolation from those more familiar with it, and lead to mutual misunderstanding. Utilizing relevant political theory and sound empirical evidence, Downs and Murtazashvili demonstrate that the university’s role in providing civic and liberal education is fostered, rather than injured, by enabling members of ROTC units and student veterans to interact with other students in classrooms (and cafeterias). They note cogently that ignorance of military institutions and wars impede students and potential future policymakers from grasping strategic limits in crises. A long overdue case for the return of ROTC to those campuses that exiled them over a generation ago, as well as a good brief for the teaching of military history." —Peter Karsten, University of Pittsburgh, author of Law, Soldiers & Combat

    "Arms and the University provides the best look at the critical topic of the American military on campus currently in print. It also gets to the heart of the issue of how democracies learn to co-exist with the often undemocratic institutions that defend them. This book illuminates the tensions, the cooperation, and the conflicts inherent in an unusual relationship. It is a must-read for those who want to learn more about how we as a society educate and defend ourselves." —Michael S. Neiberg, author of Making Citizen-Soldiers

    "Downs and Murtazashvili offer a thoughtful analysis of the inherent tensions that exist in the military’s involvement in American universities. They make a strong case for keeping military history and the study of international security issues part of the diversity of ideas that they believe necessarily underlie both an effective civic education and a truly liberal education." —Harvey M. Sapolsky, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, emeritus

    "Anyone who visits the nation's major universities observes the ubiquity of athletics and the absence of the military. Although the United States has been at war for a decade, our universities have largely avoided any serious discussion of the subject. Arms and the University explains the sources of military exclusion on many campuses, and it examines the intellectual and policy ramifications. The authors make an eloquent case for liberal education and the vital role that military perspectives must play, along with non-military points of view, in a free marketplace of ideas. Every citizen who cares about contemporary foreign policy, civil-military relations, and the health of democracy should read this urgent book." —Jeremi Suri, University of Texas, Austin, author of Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521156707
    • length: 456 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 155 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 14 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. A Normative and Pedagogical Framework:
    1. The closing of the university mind: the military/university gap and the problem of civic and liberal education
    2. Education in the regime: how a military presence can enhance civic and liberal education
    Part II. ROTC and the University:
    3. ROTC and the university: an introduction
    4. ROTC and the Ivies: before the storm
    5. ROTC and the Ivies: the divorce
    6. ROTC, Columbia, and the Ivy League: Sisyphus renews his quest to renew a troubled relationship
    7. Post-DADT: Sisyphus nears the top of the mountain
    8. Pedagogy and military presence: the educational influence of student-soldiers in their own words
    9. Winning hearts and minds?: The consequences of military presence for non-military students
    Part III. Military History Examined:
    10. Military history: an endangered or protected species?
    11. Half empty or half full?: Military historians' perspectives on the status of military history and the leading departments
    12. Military presence in security studies: political realism (re)considered
    13. Security studies in the wake of the Cold War university: paragons of productive fiction, or throwing the baby out with the bathwater?
    Part IV. Concluding Thoughts:
    14. Conclusion: placing the military in the university.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • American Citizenship
    • Civil-Military Relations
  • Authors

    Donald Alexander Downs, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    Donald Alexander Downs is Meiklejohn Professor of Political Science, Law, and Journalism at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author of five books: Nazis in Skokie: Freedom, Community, and the First Amendment; The New Politics of Pornography; More than Victims: Battered Women, the Syndrome Society, and the Law; Cornell '69: Liberalism and the Crisis of the American University; and Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus. He is the co-founder and director of the Wisconsin Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy at the University of Wisconsin and a frequent contributor to local, state, national and international media.

    Ilia Murtazashvili, University of Pittsburgh
    Ilia Murtazashvili is Visiting Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. He earned his PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his research interests include institutional design and political economy.

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