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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The study of two successive military coups in Burma and Peru. Langenbacher, Wolfgang


The purpose of this thesis is to study the dynamics of two successive military coups in Burma and Peru. Both of these nations have had a military coup, which was subsequently, after a relatively short period of civilian rule, followed by another coup. All four of these coups have had some impact on the civil bureaucracy, yet in both cases the impact after the second coup was much more pervasive. The question that the thesis is concerned with answering is why did the impact on the bureaucracy change as it did the second time around. The answer lies in the military's dissatisfaction with the civil bureaucracy after the 2nd coups. This dissatisfaction resulted from the following three factors: (1) changes in the goals and purposes of the second coups; (2) changes in military personnel between the first and second coups; (3) experiences of military between coups. (a) Both of the first two coups were carried out for restricted goals and purposes. Consequently, the military had little opportunity or need to extensively concern itself with the civilian bureaucracy. For their less ambitious goals the bureaucracy was quite suitable. The second time around, both military coups occurred under quite different circumstances and for different goals and purposes. Contrary to the static orientation of the first coups, the second ones were carried out for the purpose of moving the nation to a more progressive condition and due to the inability of civilian groups to achieve this goal. The civil bureaucracy had serious weaknesses which did not allow it to meet the military's governing needs and the military carried out extensive actions to rectify this. (b) Younger and more radical officers tended to displace the older and more conservative officers in the second coup, whereas the latter dominated the first coup in both countries. These younger officers more rural and of different social origins from the older officers, tended to be much more hostile to the urban middle civil servants. (c) Some experiences between the coups exacerbated the officers' hostility toward the bureaucracy. That is, in one case betrayal by civil servants of military's programs initiated during the first coup, in the other case having to step into an administrative void in rural areas which the military attributed to a weak and inefficient civil service.

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