Conscription and Willingness to Defend as Cornerstones of National Defense in Israel and Finland

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Maya Hadar
Teemu Häkkinen


In this article we explore the role of conscription and citizens’ willingness to defend the state in Israel and Finland. Focusing on civil-military relations from a historical point of view, we concentrate on government-led efforts to create, cultivate, and maintain particular public attitudes toward national defense in both countries. Governments in both Israel and Finland utilize military conscription, as well as direct and indirect narratives of civic duty, to cultivate and maintain positive attitudes toward conscription and the willingness to defend. Despite significant differences stemming from each country’s unique geostrategic location, history, and security challenges, we find a shared tendency in both to frame, endorse, and sustain the mass mobilization of their citizens for mandatory military service.

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