Doctoral defence: Tiia-Triin Truusa “The entangled gap: the male Estonian citizen and the interconnections between civilian and military spheres in society”

On 17 January at 12:30 Tiia-Triin Truusa will defend her doctoral thesis “The entangled gap: the male Estonian citizen and the interconnections between civilian and military spheres in society” for obtaining the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (in Sociology).

Professor Kairi Kasearu, University of Tartu
Associate Professor Judit Strömpl, University of Tartu
Research Fellow Avo Trumm, University of Tartu

Dr Maren Tomforde, Bundeswehr Command and Staff College (Germany)

For many years, Estonia has taken a comprehensive approach to security policy, which encompasses all fields essential to national security and is implemented through an approach that considers society and government as a whole. In Estonia, military defence – just one pillar in the comprehensive security approach – also emphasizes a broad-based approach.
This doctoral dissertation treats the connections between male Estonian citizens and the defence sector, highlighting various intersections between the civil and military spheres over the men’s lifetime. Conventional theory holds that the overwhelming majority of contacts between Estonian males and the military sphere are limited to compulsory military service and a few reservist training call-ups, but it is likely that there are actually more interactions – ones that are not as clearly defined and readily identifiable.
Conventional frameworks for studying civil-military relations, being grounded in political science and focusing mainly on the political and military elite, were not ideal for this study, which examines the lives of servicemen. At best, society is incorporated into the political science-based approach only in a broad and abstract manner.
In my dissertation, I therefore propose a new framework for understanding civil-military relations. On the basis of the research, I conclude that compared to the classical approach, the novel analytical framework of civil-military entanglements nexus, allows a more insightful look at the civil-military nexus.

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