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Battlefield Bureaucrats: a Theoretical Analysis of the Potential Political Impact of Tactical-Level Decision-Making

Publiceringsår: 2011
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag


The paper's empirical analysis is based on a comparative approach combining a most different systems design for case selection with within-case analyses based on process-tracing. The selected cases are examples of high-stakes situations in which tactical-level commanders have made decisions with far-reaching political repercussions. Both positive and negative outcomes are studied. A total of four cases are analyzed. These cases are comprised of 1. the Athenia incident in 1939, 2. the battle for the Valley of Tears in 1973, 3. the Black Hawk fratricide incident over Iraq in 1994, 4. the riots in Čaglavica in 2004. These cases illustrate the theoretical framework using two cases that occurred within the context of conventional warfare and two cases that occurred during military operations other than war (MOOTW). The cases also illustrate the applicability of the theoretical framework to cases across time, space and military branches/specializations.


  • Political Science
  • tactical
  • military
  • decision-making
  • street-level bureaucrats
  • logic of appropriateness
  • u-boats
  • Yom Kippur War
  • peacekeeping
  • Kosovo
  • warfare


International Society for the Military Sciences

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