Call for Papers: Special Issue “Militarism and Militarization in Latin America”


Markus Hochmüller (University of Oxford) 

Carlos A. Pérez Ricart (CIDE, Mexico City) 

Carlos Solar (University of Essex) 



Agência Brasil Fotografias - Operação militar na favela Kelson's, no Rio de Janeiro, CC BY 2.0,

Alternatives: Global, Local, Political invites contributions for a Special Issue on militarism and the militarization of society in Latin America. The Special Issue aims to explore the joint roots of militarism and militarization and their effects on the rule of law, democracy, and society. The region’s military have played a key role in the formation of nation-states. As inter-state wars played a limited role in Latin America, the military turned into the defender of the nation against internal threats. Against the background of the Cold War, U.S. and Latin American politicians have envisioned the military as a key modernizing actor. This has militarized society across the region. As resistance to military dictatorships and authoritarian governments emerged in the second half of the twentieth century, the military started to engage in fierce counterinsurgency campaigns that resulted in human rights violations, political repression, and civil wars. However, in context of democratization in the 1980s and 1990s, the institutional panorama changed. While civilian power was strengthened significantly as the Armed Forces returned to the barracks, the military prerogative of defending national security – both externally and internally – has survived until this day with varying degrees. More recently, in the context of growing social discontent and complex security situations, the involvement of the Latin American military has again intensified. As citizen distrust in the police is rampant across the region, the military has become increasingly attractive for governments across the region. Policymakers capitalize on strong societal support for militarized anti-crime strategies and mobilize the military in internal security missions. While it can be disputed to which extent this represents a continuity or a rupture with the past, there is no doubt that the Armed Forces are a powerful actor on the streets, and indeed also the cyberspace of Latin America. Furthermore, the military are involved in a diverse range of political, economic, and social life roles.  


We invite submissions that address militarism and militarization theoretically and/or empirically (list not exhaustive):  

  • Militarism in culture and education 
  • Gender and militarism  
  • Citizen-soldier relations and mutual perceptions 
  • Constellations of civil-military relations (CMR) 
  • New military missions (e.g., from cybersecurity to protecting the environment) 
  • Military training, profession, and doctrines 
  • Historical perspectives on institutional development of the military  
  • Militarization of policing and everyday security 
  • Forms of militarism and militarization by non-state violent actors 


We invite proposals for original research articles (6,000–8,000 words) and book reviews. We particularly encourage early-career researchers and scholars from Latin America to submit their research. We accept submission from authors with backgrounds in disciplines such as political science, sociology, anthropology, geography, cultural studies, and history, among others. Articles will be subject to double-blind peer review, and we aim for publication of the Special Issue in 2023. We accept expressions of interest until 30 January 2022. These should include a title, an abstract (max. 200 words), and a short bio (max. 100 words). Please direct any questions to the editors on this Special Issue to the attention of Markus Hochmüller (