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CROP-IT workshop “Military Professionalization and the Colonial Legacy of British Military Training”

On October 30, Professor Kristine Eck of Uppsala University will give a talk entitled, “Military Professionalization and the Colonial Legacy of British Military Training.” Professor Atsushi Tago of the School of Political Science and Economics is hosting the event with the support from the Center for Positive/Empirical Analysis of Political Economy, Top Global University Project at Waseda University.


Which effect did colonial practices have on countries after independence? There is a robust literature which finds that colonial legacies live on in the political, social, and economic institutions and practices of former territories after they have gained independence. There is little research, however, which examines whether colonialism impacted national militaries. In this paper, we disentangle two components of military professionalization and study their connection: military training and institutional specialization. We do so in the context of the UK and its colonial territories, which received varying levels of training at the metropole prior to and directly after decolonization. We argue that the more officer cadets that were sent for training in the UK, the more likely the national military was to develop organizational specialization within its force. Our theoretical story builds on the idea that the training that foreign cadets received in the UK taught them norms regarding how to conceive of a modern army, and that these officers in turn exported ideas about force specialization to their national militaries, resulting in a more sophisticated force composition. We test this argument using new archival data on training of foreign cadets at the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst (RMAS), the elite officer training school in the UK, for the period 1948-1971. This project brings together and contributes to two different strands of literature: colonial legacies and military professionalization. Theoretically, we provide a new argument that centers the military and the effect of colonial training inputs on its organization. We also specify a novel conceptualization of military professionalization which focuses on force composition and specialisation. We bring new data to bear on both of these concepts. This work is relevant for scholars of (post-) colonialism, security studies, as well as those interested in institutional development and capacity.

Event information

  • Title: Military Professionalization and the Colonial Legacy of British Military Training
  • Date & Time: October 30 (Wed), 2019 at 14:00-15:30
  • Venue: Conference Room 1, 10F of Building #3,  Waseda Campus
  • Language: English
  • Open to students, faculty members, and the general public
  • Free admissions, No registration required
  • Speaker: Kristine Eck, Associate Professor, Uppsala University
  • Flyer
  • Contact: Atsushi Tago, Faculty of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University at [email protected]
  • Co-sponsor: Center for Positive/Empirical Analysis of Political Economy, Top Global University Project, Waseda University
  • 1030



Conference Room 1, 10F of Building #3


Tue, 01 Oct 2019

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