1st Edition

Contemporary Military Reserves Between the Civilian and Military Worlds

Edited By Eyal Ben-Ari, Vincent Connelly Copyright 2023
    226 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    226 Pages 18 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers a comparative study of military reserves in contemporary democracies.

    A combination of budgetary pressures, new missions and emerging military roles during the past three decades has led the armed forces of democracies to rethink the training and use of reserve forces. Moreover, reservists have become central to the armed forces as part of moves towards "total" or "comprehensive" defense. Despite this, a scholarly bias towards studying regulars and conscripts means that reservists and reserve soldiers continue to receive only marginal attention. This volume fills that lacuna through a series of country studies examining how best to understand the peculiarities of reservist service. In contrast to regulars and conscripts, reservists are marked by their dual management of civilian and military careers, different family dynamics, diverse motivations and commitment to the armed forces, the material and non-material incentives they are offered, and their place in the political sphere. This volume suggests two frames to make sense of such differences: first, it looks at reservists as "transmigrants" traveling between the military and civilian worlds; and, second, it analyzes the multiple informal "contracts" and negotiations that bind them to the military. All the chapters adopt these conceptualizations, granting the volume a common focus and integrative frame.

    The volume will be of much interest to students of military and strategic studies, civil-military relations, sociology and International Relations.

    1. Introduction: Negotiating Reservists: Transmigration and Multiple Contracts

    Vincent Connelly and Eyal Ben-Ari

    Between the Military and Civilian Spheres

    2. A Conceptual Framework for Examining the Role of Identity in the Experiences of U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers

    Bonnie M. Vest, Erin M. Anderson Goodell, Rachel A. Hoopsick, D. Lynn Homish, and Gregory G. Homish

    3. Transmigration, Voluntary Service and Complementary Careers: A Comparison of Canadian Regular and Reserve Force Military Members

    Irina Goldenberg and Eyal Ben-Ari

    4. Measuring Regular and Reserve Force Integration in the Canadian Armed Forces

    Michael A. Rostek

    Identity and Motivation

    5. Ex-regulars in the British Army Reserve: "Just here for the money?"

    Vincent Connelly, Zoe Morrison, Julia Birchenough, Sarah Cunningham-Burley, and Wendy Loretto

    6. Motivations of the Argentinian Reservists to Join the Army

    Laura Masson and Pablo Journé

    Transferring Skills

    7. Multiple Contracts Concept as Opportunity to Ease Challenges for Estonian Employers’ Obligations Concerning Employees’ Reserve Service in Military

    Eleri Lillemäe, Taavi Laanepere, Kairi Kasearu

    8. The Possibilities and Limits of Military Reservists’ Civilian Skills for Armed Forces

    Rachel Woodward, Antonia Dawes, Timothy Edmunds, Paul Higate, K. Neil Jenkings

    Political Dimensions

    9. Building Bridges with Society? Reservists and the democratization of Armed Forces in Argentina

    Sabina Frederic and Marina Martinez Acosta

    10. Militarism and Self-Portrait of Reservists as Second-rate Soldiers in South Korea

    Insoo Kim

    11. Afterword

    Patrick Bury


    Eyal Ben-Ari was formerly Professor of Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is now fellow of the Center for Society, Security and Peace at Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, Israel.

    Vincent Connelly is Professor of Psychology at Oxford Brookes University, UK.

    'The reserve force in the 21st century has undergone tremendous change, increasingly relied on as an operational force rather than a strategic force. As a result, future conflicts will increasingly involve reservists. Chapters in this volume describe the new context for reserve forces internationally, and provide explanations of mechanisms that bind reservists to military service and elaborate on new concerns. The collection of readings here is central to informing researchers, policymakers, and military leaders of current and emerging issues of reservists and responding to these concerns.'--James Griffith, National Center for Veterans Studies, University of Utah, USA

    'Hidden in plain sight, reserve forces go to war and fight COVID as they supplement and extend modern militaries.  Ben-Ari and Connelly’s Contemporary Military Reserves adds to the limited, yet growing military reserve literature by providing theoretical anchors as well as historical and contemporary context. International in scope, it is filled with rich questions, fresh insight and impressive empirical analysis. An indispensable resource!'--Patricia M. Shields, Regents’ Professor, Department of Political Science, Texas State University, USA 

    'This volume comes with perfect timing as we witness the global revival of reserve forces, from the deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan to the campaigns against COVID-19. By using an innovative theoretical framework, a large number of highly experienced authors address a significant scholarly deficit as they examine reserve forces through a rich comparative study of multiple cases. This book should be a required read for practitioners and scholars interested in the future organization of the armed forces.'--Yagil Levy, Professor, The Open University of Israel