Coup d’état or executing the will of the people? The role of military in democracies

Taking the case of the recent developments in Egypt we discussed the dilemma how legitimate a government could be that became into power by a rather undemocratic act, with the help of the military.

That led to a heated discussion about the role of military in democracies and showed many different points of view, depending a lot on where the participants are coming from. Our egyptian participants for instance considered the military executing the ‘will of the people’, preventing more blood spilling, while others had concerns about the military having an active role in giving governments ultimatums or put new ones into power.

Also the question was raised what makes a government legitimate, and that winning democratic elections is not enough to legitimize, a government also have to prove through democratic actions.

15 minutes were not enough to come to any conclusion but we still have 5 more days to continue…


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