The policy consequences of military rule in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru



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This study examines the role of the military by analyzing the consequences of military rule in three Latin American political systems: Argentina, Brazil, and Peru. Dealing with data taken from secondary sources, this analysis tests the proposition that the military is performing either a modernizing or a predatory role. A quantitative method of analysis was used to test whether a shift of political power from a civilian to a military regime would result in a significant change in public policy. An investigation of the performance or capability of the military regimes between 1950-1974 was constructed. The study considered six socio-economic factors as having likely influence upon national development. They were: (1) education, (2) public health, (3) taxation, (4) foreign debt, (5) military expenditures, and (6) inflation. The findings indicated (1) that there was a high degree of similarity in the number of instances where military regime have played modernizing and predatory roles, (2) that the rate of inflation was more often controlled by military regimes than civilian regimes, and (3) that the policy outcomes vary greatly from one case to another. The most important finding of this study indicated that it is highly difficult to generalize about the role of the military in Latin America