Military Systems of Justice A Sociological Overview

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Thomas Crosbie
Meredith Kleykamp


Sociologists have largely ignored the study of military tribunals and justice systems. We offer a descriptive overview of military systems of justice intended for use by political and military sociologists, focusing on the case of the United States armed services. We contextualize the principal military systems of justice and provide extended discussions of how the American case connects through formal and informal channels to international legal structures. American military law and justice link three key legal realms: international law on conflict and security at the global level; the so called National Security Constitution at the national level; and the Uniform Code of Military Justice at the institutional level.

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Author Biographies

Thomas Crosbie, Royal Danish Defence College

Thomas Crosbie is associate professor at the Royal Danish Defence College. He has published widely on topics involving military politics, military operations, and the privatization of security. His work has appeared recently in Armed Forces & Society, Joint Force Quarterly, Texas National Security Review, and War in History.

Meredith Kleykamp, University of Maryland

Meredith Kleykamp is associate professor of sociology and director of the Center for Research on Military Organization at the University of Maryland. Her research centers on the life-course consequences of military service, the transition back to civilian life, and the effects of military service on military and veteran families.