Tawazun Survey

Index of Civil-Military Relations

The Tawazun Index of Civil-Military Relations measures the relative efficiency of civil-military relations. Efficiency is defined as the ability of civilian and military actors to negotiate, formulate, and coordinate policies in the sphere of national defense, in ways that further effective governance of the defense sector, reinforce state core competences, and enhance nation-building.

Tawazun (توازن). Arabic noun: balance, equilibrium, equipoise.

The Tawazun Index includes five domains, each comprising a set of main questions and indicators. Rationales for each domain and main question clarify their relevance in measuring the efficiency of civil-military relations. The overall Index contains 123 questions distributed among the five domains, each of which has 3–4 main questions and 22–32 questions.

Receive a free book for completing two domain surveys.

Receive two free books for completing all five domain surveys.

Available Books:

Rise of Ahrik, by Nathan W. Toronto (a science fiction novel about civil-military relations)

Bullet Points, volume 1, edited by Nathan W. Toronto (military science fiction anthology)

Domain 1: Governance

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Efficient relations between military and civilian authorities are stable and predictable, governed by constitutional provisions and laws, and managed through clear institutional mechanisms, as with other state agencies. Civil-military relations are less efficient when the military becomes an independent actor in the political system, or when governmental or nongovernmental actors instrumentalize the military as a political asset. Modern military forces enjoy a degree of autonomy within their professional remit, so long as they operate within the policy framework set by duly established governing authorities and under the oversight of competent civilian agencies.

Domain 2: Military Professionalism

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Efficient civil-military relations facilitate the development of professional military competences, ensuring the military has a unique body of military knowledge, professional entry requirements, strong corporate identity and cohesion, and an ethos of serving society.

Domain 3: Social Perceptions & Cultural Attitudes

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Civil-military relations operate more efficiently when the military and the society it defends are invested in each other. The extent to which a population supports the military and sees it as representative of society as a whole is an important indicator of the state of civil-military relations. Divergent civilian perceptions of the military and negative military perceptions of civilians impede efficiency in civil-military relations, while perceptions of social discrimination or communal inequality in recruitment and promotions within the military may undermine its cohesion and effectiveness.

Domain 4: Defense Finances & Economics

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In any country, the military consumes a significant part of the state budget, and the efficient use of resources, including transparent budgeting and efficient financial management and monitoring, is an important indicator of the state of civil-military relations. Given that military purchases and employment contribute to the economic life of the country, and that the military may control economic assets, efficient civil-military relations are served by effective institutional control and transparency of defense economics.

Domain 5: Civilian Competences

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Efficient civil-military relations depend on the military’s openness to involvement by competent non-uniformed civilian professionals in defense-related functions such as planning, procurement, and development within different branches of government, and to open discussion of defense affairs by civilians both inside and outside government. Female participation in the armed forces additionally correlates with increases in human resources and professionalism, and so measures to increase it are also integral to the development of a capable and modern military. The ability to collect, process, and utilize data is crucial in an information-intensive age and a necessary competence for the military to possess, making extensive and routinized interaction between it and civilians essential.