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MercenariesThe History of a Norm in International Relations$
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Sarah Percy

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199214334

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214334.001.0001

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Competing Explanations for the Nineteenth-Century Shift Away from Mercenary Use

Competing Explanations for the Nineteenth-Century Shift Away from Mercenary Use

Chapter:
(p.94) 4 Competing Explanations for the Nineteenth-Century Shift Away from Mercenary Use
Source:
Mercenaries
Author(s):

Sarah Percy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199214334.003.0005

This chapter focuses on the three arguments that seek to explain why states stopped using mercenaries in the 19th century. The first argument is largely realist, making the case that material changes pressured states to adopt citizen armies. The second argument is based more on the role of ideas, arguing that the developing relationship between states and citizens and the increasing role of neutrality in international law combined to render the use of mercenaries obsolete. The third argument suggests that while ideas and material pressures are important antecedent conditions, the change to a citizen army is best explained by domestic politics and path dependency.

Keywords:   mercenary use, civilian armies, citizen armies, international law, path dependency

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