Research Committees


Published in ISA Bulletin number 32, year 1983
Prepared by Kurt Jonassohn
ISA Executive Secretary 1974-1982


The first meeting of what was to become the Research Committee took place at a conference on armed forces held in London, July 1964. Morris Janowitz (USA) served as the convenor and chairman.

The purpose was to provide an international exploration of the comparative sociology of military institutions. The London conference was sponsored jointly by the Research Committee on Political Sociology of the ISA and the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society (IUS).

The IUS was located at the University of Chicago and chaired by its founder, Morris Janowitz. The conference brought together for the first time scholars from the USA and Western Europe and resulted in the publication of a special issue of the EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY on "Armed Forces and Society in Western Europe" (Vol.6, Nº 2,1965).

At the VI World Congress of Sociology (1966) in Evian, two groups dealt with the topic. One dealt with "Conflict Resolution and Research in Conflict Resolution” and was headed by Robert C. Angell (USA). 11 papers were presented and two were published in TRANSACTIONS OF THE VIth WORLD CONGRESS OF SOCIOLOGY, Vol. III: Working Groups and Round Table Papers.

The other group, headed by Morris Janowitz, became the nucleus of the subsequent Research Committee. It was a working group on "Militarism and the Professional Military Man". It brought together about 70 scholars from Western and Eastern Europe, USSR, USA, South America and the Far East. 36 papers were delivered. The keynote paper by Janowitz appeared in TRANSACTIONS OF THE VIth WORLD CONGRESS OF SOCIOLOGY, Vol.II: Sociology of International Relations. A volume of many of the papers presented appeared in ARMED FORCES AND SOCIETY: SOCIOLOGICAL ESSAYS (The Hague: Mouton, 1968) edited by Jacques van Doorn (Holland).

A steering committee consisting of Morris Janowitz (USA), Jacques van Doorn (Holland), John Jackson (UK), Ludwig van Friedberg (FRG), and Jerzy Wiatr (Poland), was established. A special International World Congress meeting of this group was held in 1967 in London. 24 papers were presented. The resulting volume was Jacques van Doorn, ed., MILITARY PROFESSIONS AND MILITARY REGIMES (The Hague: Mouton, 1969).

The steering committee was reorganized in London in anticipation of the VII World Congress of Sociology to be held in Varna, Bulgaria in 1970. The members of the steering committee were: Morris Janowitz (USA), chairman; members: Jacques van Doorn (Holland), John Jackson (UK), Jerzy Wiatr (Poland), Bengt Abrahamsson (Sweden), Dario Canton (Argentina), Ali Mazuri (Uganda), David Solomon (Canada), P. Zhilin (USSR).

1970-1973 and the VIIth World Congress

The group was designated the status of the ISA Research Committee on Armed Forces and Society at the VIIth World Congress in Varna, 1970. The officers elected then were: chairman, Morris Janowitz (USA); vice-chairmen, Jacques van Doorn (Holland ), Dario Canton (Argentina), Jerzy Wiatr (Poland), and Victor A. Konoplev (USSR); executive committee, Bengt Abrahamsson (Sweden), Akinsola Akiwowo (Nigeria), Manfred Kossok (GDR), Liliana de Riz (Uruguay), Hans-Adolf Jacobsenitz (FRG), and Charles Moskos (USA).

At the Varna Congress, the Committee developed the following program:

  1. Social Recruitment, Prestige and Socialization of Military Professionals (25 papers)
  2. Civil-Military Relations, Performance of Military Regimes (35 papers)
  3. International Conflict, Disarmament and Arms Control (13 papers).

All told, 72 papers were presented coming from 25 countries: USA (25), UK (7), Holland (5), USSR (4), Argentina, Poland (3 each), Canada, FRG, Ghana, Sweden, Uganda, Yugoslavia (2 each), Belgium, Brazil, GDR, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Nigeria, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay (1 each). The papers of the Varna Congress were published in: Morris Janowitz and Jacques van Doorn, eds., ON MILITARY INTERVENTION, Rotterdam University Press, 1971.

A regional working conference on "The End of the Mass Army" was held by the Research Committee in Amsterdam, March 1973. The subthemes were:

  1. war and the changing role of the military
  2. strains and conflicts in the armed forces
  3. stock-taking reports
  4. military professionalism: some consequences.

1974-1977 and the VIIIth World Congress

At the VIIIth World Congress of Sociology in Toronto, 1974, the following officers were elected: chairman, Jacques van Doorn (Holland); founding chairman, Morris Janowitz (USA); vice-chairmen, Charles Moskos (USA), Stepan Tiushkevish (USSR), Gwyn Harries-Jenkins (UK), Kurt Lang (USA), Anton Bebler (Yugoslavia); executive secretary, Nancy Goldman (USA); executive committee, Akinsola Akiwowo (Nigeria), Ali Mazuri (Uganda), A. Bopegamage (India), Julio Busquets (Spain), P. Dabzies (France), Heikki Leimu (Finland), Mieczyslaw Michalik (Poland), Jae Sohn (South Korea), Soren Wissum (Denmark).

The Research Committee in 1974 had 136 members from 37 countries; in 1975 it reported 139 members from 38 countries.

In the Toronto meetings participated more than 50 sociologists from 24 countries. The program themes included:

  1. Regional and comparative studies
  2. Legitimacy and civil-military relations
  3. Legitimacy and the control of violence
  4. Attitudes, recruitment, organization

A round table discussion on "International Tensions and Disarmament" was chaired by Morris Janowitz. AII told 33 papers were delivered from 14 countries: USA (12), USSR (5), France (3), Belgium, Holland (2 each), Algeria, Bulgaria, Finland, FRG, Israel, Nigeria, Spain, Uganda, Yugoslavia (1 each).

The Research Committee sponsored an interim meeting on May 24-28, 1976, held at the Forsvarets Rursus institution in Gurrehuas, Denmark. The theme of the conference was "United Nations and Peacekeeping Activities".

The conference, co-chaired by Steen Borup-Nielsen and Soren Wissum, included 19 participants coming from 9 countries: Dominican Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Yugoslavia, UK, USA. 7 research reports were given.

The conference was notable in that it included a mix of military officers with UN peacekeeping experience as well as academic sociologists. Moreover, interpretive summaries were given by authors of recent books on UN peace keeping: B. Egge, THE THIN BLUE LINE, and C. Moskos, PEACESOLDIERS.

In 1974 the Research Committee cooperated in launching an international journal ARMED FORCES AND SOCIETY subtitled "An interdisciplinary journal on military institutions, civil-military relations, arms control and peacekeeping and conflict management". Morris Janowitz was the founding editor and was succeeded by David R. Segal (USA) in 1982. The editorial board consists, in addition to Janowitz and Segal, of Akinsola Akiwowo (Nigeria), Alexandre Barros (Brazil), A. Bopegamage (India), Michel Martin (France), Jerzy Wiatr (Poland).

1978-1981 and the IXth World Congress of Sociology

In anticipation of the IXth World Congress of Sociology in 1978 in Uppsala, the Research Committee elected its officers through mail ballot. The officers were: chairman, Gwyn Harries-Jenkins (UK); founding chairman, Morris Janowitz (USA); vice-chairmen, Charles Moskos (USA), Bernhard Fleckenstein (FRG), Stepan Tiuskevish (USSR); executive secretary, Nancy Goldman; executive committee, Akinsola Akiwowo (Nigeria), Anton Bebler (Yugoslavia), Kurt Lang (USA), Jacques van Doorn (Holland), Steen Borup-Nielsen (Denmark), Michel Martin (France).

In 1978, the Research Committee had a list of 76 members from 27 countries: USA (18), FRG (11), France (6), Holland (5), Canada (4), USSR, India, Italy, Australia (3 each), Belgium, Nigeria, Poland, Sweden (2 each) , Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Yugoslavia (1 each).

The Research Committee developed the following themes for the Uppsala meetings:

  1. Changing perspectives on military organization
  2. Social development and military institutions in the emerging nations
  3. War and military institutions. Marxist theory and practice
  4. Sociology of non-violence.

All told, 51 papers were presented coming from 19 countries: USA (18), FRG (6), Yugoslavia (5), Australia, Canada, Holland, Italy, UK, USSR (2 each), Argentina, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Nigeria, Switzerland (1 each).

A working group in International Relations was constituted within the Committee in November 1978. Louis Kreisberg (USA) was approved as the first chairman of the group; in 1980 Kreisberg organized a session on Conflict Resolutions within the Committee for the Xth World Congress in Mexico City in 1982.

In 1980 there was a proposal to change the name of the Research Committee to reflect the view of some members whose interests were primarily in nonviolence, peacekeeping, and conflict resolution.

The ISA Executive Committee approved a change at the meeting held in Budapest, September 1980. The new and present name of the Research Committee is Armed
Forces and Conflict Resolution (Forces Armées et Résolution des Conflits).

The Committee had an interim meeting in conjunction with the conference of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, Chicago, USA, October 1980. The themes of the meeting were "The Military Professional and Conflict Resolution" and "Civil-Military Relations in a World Perspective".

In addition to members from the USA, participants came from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, FRG, Holland, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, Sweden, UK.

The Committee also participated extensively in the following meetings:

  • A conference in Danbury, England, July 1980, in cooperation with the International Standing Conference on Conflict Studies
  • A workshop on "Military Socialization" in Mannheim, FRG, July 1981, in conjunction with the meetings of the International Psychology Association
  • An international conference sponsored by the Foundation Society and Armed Forces, The Hague, Holland, May 1982.

1982 and the Xth World Congress of Sociology

At the Mexico City meetings, the election of the following officers was announced: Charles Moskos (USA), president; Akinsola Akiwowo (Nigeria), Stepen Tiushkevich (USSR), Ralf Zoll (FRG), vice-presidents; Nancy Goldman (USA), executive secretary; A. Barros (Brazil), A. Bebler (Yugoslavia), M. Martin (France), L. Kreisberg (USA), D. Segal (USA), M. van Gelder (Australia) executive committee. The titles of the officers were changed from chairman and vice-chairman to president and vice-president respectively.

The details of the 1982 meetings are covered in the 1983 Newsletter of the Research Committee. All told, 31 papers were presented coming from 15 countries: USA (10), FRG, USSR (3 each), Chile, Italy, Mexico (2 each), Australia, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Nigeria, Portugal, South Korea, Spain (1 each).

As of March 1983, the Committee consisted of about 180 members coming from 36 countries: USA (43), FRG (16), France (15), UK (10), Holland (9), Australia, Canada (7 each), Italy (6), Nigeria, Sweden (5 each), Denmark, Mexico, Spain, USSR (4 each), Belgium, Israel, Poland (3 each), Brazil, Chile, Greece, Lebanon, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland (2 each), Argentina, Dominican Republic, Finland, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Rumania, Uruguay, Yugoslavia (1 each).

Partial bibliography

  • Abrahamsson, Bengt, MILITARY PROFESSIONALIZATION AND POLITICAL POWER, London: Sage Publications, 1972.
  • Doorn, Jacques van, ed., ARMED FORCES AND SOCIETY, The Hague: Mouton, 1968.
  • Doorn, Jacques van, ed., MILITARY PROFESSION AND MILITARY REGIMES, The Hague: Mouton, 1969.
  • Doorn, Jacques van, THE SOLDIER AND SOCIAL CHANGE, London: Sage Publications, 1975.
  • Gils, M.R. van, ed., THE PERCEIVED ROLE OF THE MILITARY, Rotterdam University Press, 1971.
  • Goldman, Nancy Loring and David R. Segal, THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF MILITARY SERVICE, Sage Publications, 1976.
  • Goldman, Nancy Loring, ed., FEMALE SOLDIERS - COMBATANTS OR NONCOMBATANTS, Greenwood Press, 1982.
  • Harries-Jenkins, Gwyn and Jacques van Doorn, "Armed forces and the social order: a pluralist approach" in Margaret S. Archer, ed., "Problems of current sociology", CURRENT SOCIOLOGY, Vol. 22, Nos. 1/3, 1974.
  • Harries-Jenkins, Gwyn and Jacques van Doorn, eds., THE MILITARY AND THE PROBLEM OF LEGITIMACY, Sage Publications, 1976.
  • Harries-Jenkins, Gwyn, THE ARMY IN VICTORIAN SOCIETY, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977.
  • Harries-Jenkins, Gwyn and Charles C. Moskos, "Armed forces and society" in CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLOGY, Vol. 29, Nº3 (1981), pp. 1-170.
  • Harries-Jenkins, Gwyn, ed., ARMED FORCES AND WELFARE SOCIETIES, London: Macmillan, 1982.
  • Janowitz, Morris, THE PROFESSIONAL SOLDIER, 2nd edition, New York: Free Press, 1971.
  • Janowitz, Morris, MILITARY INSTITUTIONS AND COERCION IN THE DEVELOPING NATIONS, University of Chicago Press, 1977.
  • Janowitz, Morris, ed., CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS: REGIONAL PERSPECTIVES, Sage Publications,
  • 1981.
  • Janowitz, Morris and Stephen D. Wesbrook, eds., THE POLITICAL EDUCATION OF SOLDIERS, Sage Publications, 1982.
  • Janowitz, Morris and Jacques van Doorn, eds., ON MILITARY INTERVENTION, Rotterdam University Press, 1971.
  • Kriesberg, Louis, THE SOCIOLOGY OF SOCIAL CONFLICTS, Prentice-Hall, 1973.
  • Lang, Kurt, MILITARY INSTITUTIONS AND THE SOCIOLOGY OF WAR, Sage Publications, 1972.
  • Martin, Michel, WARRIORS TO MANAGERS: THE FRENCH MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT SINCE 1945, University of North Carolina Press, 1981.
  • Moskos, Charles C., THE AMERICAN ENLISTED MAN, New York: Russell Sage, 1970.
  • Moskos, Charles C., ed., PUBLIC OPINION AND THE MILITARY ESTABLISHMENT, Sage Publications, 1971.
  • Moskos, Charles C., PEACE SOLDIERS: THE SOCIOLOGY OF A UNITED NATIONS MILITARY FORCE, University of Chicago Press, 1976.
  • Moskos, Charles C.,"The Military" in: ANNUAL REVIEW OF SOCIOLOGY, Vol. 2 (1976), pp. 55-68.
  • Teitler, G., THE GENESIS OF THE PROFESSIONAL OFFICERS' CORPS, Sage Publications, 1974.
  • Zoll, Ralf, ed., SICHERHEIT UND MILITAR, Munich: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1972.