Armed Forces and Society

Nation-building, institutional gaps, military sociology, armed forces as societies, armed forces in society, civil-military relations, conscription and professional armies, gender-ethnicity-identity and minorities, military families, unions and soldier associations, social experimentation and social activism with armed forces, media, public opinion, democratic control of armed forces, security sector reform, international cooperation, privatization.

Current Co-chairs and contacts for working group

Dr. Rene Moelker, Dutch Defence College


Co-Chair:  Marianne Bouchard, Canadian Armed Forces


WG7 Call for abstracts for 2020 Online Conference Helsinki

Past Chairs:


Scope: the aim and purpose of the Working Group

(The entries below are placeholders, which should be updated by the Working Group Chair in consultation with participants and contributors to the group.)

This working group looks inside armed forces as social organizations and outside them to their relationships with society, including civil-military controls, 

Keyword descriptors

Military sociology, civil-military relations, recruitment, retention, socialization, 

Topics addressed in previous conferences

Can the Army Reserve fill capability gaps?; Selecting members for a military task force from a social network; Perception of Inclusion of Minority Groups; Values and goals of students in military classes; whistle blowers; When Soldiers Can Refuse to Surrender; Public opinion about foreign and defence policy; sub-consciousness culture codes analysis based on preliminary culture forecasting model; how social science can help military analysts understand northern Mali; Impact of Social Media Communication on Armed Forces’ Legitimacy

Current Working Group Activities

This working group is connected to the European Research Group on Armed Forces and Society (ERGOMAS) and some of its contributors also participate in the Inter-University Society for Armed Forces and Society (IUS). Both ERGOMAS and IUS hold biennial conferences held during odd-numbered years, in June and October respectively, . 

History of the Working Group

This is one of the original eight working groups of the ISMS established at Amsterdam in 2008.

Related Contact information

ERGOMAS - The European Research Group on Armed Forces and Society

IUS - The Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society

International Sociological Association (ISA)  includes research committees, working groups, thematic groups, and collective members.

ISA RC-01 on Armed Forces and Conflict Resolution May be of interest to those contributing to this working group.