Historical Social Research

Herbert Obinger: Conscription, the Military, and Welfare State Development: An Introduction. [Abstract]

This paper discusses several possible causal mechanisms through which conscription and military interests might have shaped the development of western welfare states in the age of industrialized mass warfare. Relevant factors are military concerns about the quantity and quality of the population, the necessity to enhance legitimacy and to secure mass loyalty in times of war and military threat, and a growing pressure to compensate the ‘blood tax’ imposed by the draft with civic and social rights after the end of war.

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