DCAFProject › Evolving Roles and Responsibilities of Armed Forces

Evolving Roles and Responsibilities of Armed Forces

The project currently focuses on the collection of information on the internal roles and tasks of the armed forces in a series of West European countries, the USA and Canada; on the legal foundation and historical evolution of those roles and tasks; and the search for patterns that could emerge from this mapping exercise.

The main purpose of this mapping exercise is the development of an informed appreciation of the varied internal roles and tasks of the armed forces – within given historical and political contexts – of a series of Western democracies. Not only does the mapping study help to explain individual countries’ approaches to utilizing the armed forces for internal tasks, it also highlights the need to continue such an information gathering exercise on these and other countries with the creation of a publicly accessible database. Furthermore, the study develops key research questions that should be explored through both single-country and comparative case study analyses in order to answer some of the larger normative questions on the perceived utility and legitimacy of evolving tasks and roles of the armed forces. Preliminary work has also focussed more generally on evolving roles of the armed forces beyond the core task of national defence, both internally and externally; military protection for humanitarian assistance operations; as well as on experiences beyond Western Europe and North America.

Researchers: Albrecht Schnabel and Marc Krupanski, DCAF (previously also Ina Amann and Danail Hristov, DCAF)