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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS)

Julian Brückner

Julian Brückner
BGSS Generation 2010
julian.brueckner (at) sowi.hu-berlin.de


Dissertation Title (preliminary)

Civilian Supremacy and the Consolidation of Democracy: Linking Democratic Transition and Consolidation in Latin America



In the steadily growing literature on democratic regime consolidation in Latin America, few systematic efforts have been made to integrate civil-military relations with other well-established explanatory variables. This scholarly neglect seems odd considering the militarized nature of the authoritarian regimes of the 1960s and 70s that enabled the region’s armed forces to actively shape the outcome of democratic transition processes during the Third Wave of Democracy. Against this background, my dissertation project aims to develop a configurational causal model that establishes a path dependency between different modes of transition, the achievement of civilian supremacy, and varying degrees of democratic regime consolidation in the region today. The model will be tested using a mixed methods approach that employs a fuzzy set analysis of 16 South and Central American democracies to select typical cases for further in-depth comparisons using process-tracing. The overarching goal is to show that new insights into the causes of democratic regime consolidation in Latin America may be gained by combining well-established insights from transitology and consolidology –two often unrelated strands of democratization literature– into more complex mid-range theories. Moreover, by focusing on civil-military relations, I challenge the “liberal bias” that leads most scholars of democratization to disregard the role of the armed forces once (formal) democracy has been achieved.



Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Merkel

(1st Supervisor)

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Weßels

(2nd Supervisor)


Research Interests

Democracy, Civil-Military Relations, Configurational Comparative Methods, Latin America


Publications and Conference Participations


Academic Education

10/2010 – present

03/2007 – 09/2009

  • Diplom Sozialwissenschaften –equivalent MA Social Sciences– (grade: 1.1); specializations: Comparative Sociology, Sociological Theory, Contemporary History, Quantitative Methods, Pedagogical Psychology (minor); University of Mannheim, Germany

03/2006 – 02/2007

  • Certificate of Peruvian Studies; specializations: International Relations, Rural and Development Sociology, Organizational Sociology, Sociology of Ethnicity; Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Peru

10/2003 – 10/2005

  • Vordiplom Sozialwissenschaften –equivalent BA Social Sciences– (grade: 1.5), University of Mannheim, Germany


Research and Teaching Experience

08/2010 – 09/2010

02/2010 – 07/2010

02/2008 – 06/2008

03/2007 – 01/2010

04/2005 – 03/2006


Scholarships and Awards

10/2010 – present


08/2007 – 07/2008

07/2006 – 06/2009


Language Skills

  • German (native)

  • English (fluent)

  • Spanish (fluent)

  • Portuguese (working knowledge)