“Honor Bound: The Military Culture of the Civil Guard and the Political Violence of the Spanish Second Republic, 1931-1936”
- How did Europe’s military police forces or gendarmeries contribute to the fall of many of the continent’s democratic regimes during the interwar period?
- Why was the Civil Guard in particular, Spain’s gendarmerie, the country’s most violent profession during the country’s Second Republic period?
- What was the military culture of the Civil Guard, how was it formed, and how did it evolve over time?
- How did this military culture shape the actions that civil guards took when they confronted the unprecedented mass political mobilizations of the Second Republic?
Methodologies and Sources
- Military culture provides a framework for analyzing the structural causes of the Civil Guard’s violence during the Second Republic
- Social movement theory gives me a vocabulary for describing the patterns of behavior that civil guards exhibited when confronting protests
- Thick descriptions of particular incidents of political violence involving the Civil Guard allow a closer examination of how local tensions, cultural patterns, and individual decisions combined to produce violence outcomes
- Study of Civil Guard service records provides information on members’ social origins and prior experiences
- Other primary sources include regulations, internal publications, Ministry of the Interior telegrams, court records, congressional debates, propaganda booklets and newspapers
- Military and police history: the concept of military culture can be adapted to help understand how military police forces respond to civilian policing situations
- Social anthropology: the idea of honor can influence the actions of state institutions independently of their duties to obey the directives of the state
- Social movement theory: police forces do not simply follow the orders of the state, they also make socio-political claims of their own and have their own repertoire of typical behaviors that they draw upon when confronting non-state political protesters