Garrison State Project

This multi-year project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, is examining the expansion of what political scientist Harold Lasswell called "garrison states": developed democracies in which organizations concerned with issues of national security grow in size, become more active, and are less and less subject to oversight. The project looks at 7 countries, over a time span of almost 70 years, to see if Lasswell's argument holds for a variety of democracies: large vs. small, members of alliances vs. neutrals, and those with vs. those without colonies. If it turns out that Lasswell was indeed correct, this suggests that in the long term, democratic governance is being eroded by concerns over national security.