The essence of the "market army"

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Western armies have undergone substantial organizational-cultural transformations since the end of the Cold War. Two main themes have been suggested to describe these transformations: postmodernity and post-Fordism. This article analyzes these profound shifts. The author portrays the new Western army as a " market army," distancing itself from the " citizen army," and envisions a continuum between these extreme types. The market army emulates market practices in order to adapt to modern strategic, economic, political, and cultural constraints. What typifies the market army is the subjection of military doctrine to the market, a post-Fordist structure, a network-centric hierarchy, market values borrowed by the military profession, the convergence of military and civilian occupations, the commodification of military service, and new contractual forms of bargaining between soldiers and the military. Israel serves as a critical case with which to develop the theory of the market army.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-389
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


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