Combatant Rank and Socialization to Norms of Restraint: Examining the Australian and Philippine Armies
International Interactions, Forthcoming
46 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2021
Date Written: December 28, 2020
How does combatant rank influence the adoption of international humanitarian law (IHL) norms—or “norms of restraint”—within military organizations? To date, no studies have examined how combatant rank influences the adoption of norms of restraint within armed groups. This study helps to fill this gap by conducting the first known study explicitly examining the role of combatant rank in shaping the transmission and adoption of norms of restraint in military organizations. To do so, this study conducts one of the first known comparative academic studies exploiting original survey and interview data from two state armed forces—the Australian Army and the Philippine Army. Research results indicate that under some conditions combatant rank can significantly influence the norm socialization process in ways both expected and surprising. Combatant adoption of norms of restraint can vary considerably within the military hierarchy. Australian and Philippine data further suggest that the adoption of such norms may be linked to the nature of command relationships within the military. Such data provides noteworthy new data enhancing our understanding of rank, military culture, and combatant socialization to norms of restraint.
Keywords: conflict, military culture, military training, military socialization, international humanitarian law, law of war, norms of restraint, surveys, ethics, law, civilians, violence
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