The challenge of diffusing military professionalism in Africa

J.M.M.L. Soeters, A. van Ouytsel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In order to cope with the many violent conflicts all over the world and to enhance their influence, Western armed forces tend to invest in professionalizing the armed forces of developing countries. One way is to educate cadets of such countries at the military academies at home. Following in this wake, Belgium has opened up its military training programs for cadets from Francophone African countries. This article examines the experiences of young men from Benin after they have finished their studies successfully and returned to their parent armed force in this African country. The focus of our analysis is on organizational change through intergenerational diversity reflecting differences in professionalism-related experiences. The findings, suggesting that such organizational change is not self-evident, lead to a discussion about the general implications of diffusing military professionalism to developing countries, in Africa in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-268
JournalArmed Forces and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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