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The military in Latin America

The Zombie theory hypothesis

The military coups of the 1970s and 1980s deeply affected the thinking of analysts and policymakers across the region. Understandably they focused on the military’s presumed ongoing thirst for power, its tendency to infringe civil liberties, and the range of defensive actions that could and should be taken by civilian institutions – everything from reducing budgets to tightening political and administrative oversight. There was however a tendency to think that every civilian-military incident must necessarily be a step in a continuum leading to the seizure power. Concerned that this has been taken too far, some analysts have warned of the danger of seeing everything from the 1970s perspective.

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