Civil militær samtænkning: En politisk analyse

Bo Bittmann & Bjarke Schaar

Student thesis: Master executive thesis


The concept of comprehensive approach originates from decades of incapacity for creating the necessary sustainable peace through various forms of military intervention. Comprehensive approach specifically makes demands on the superior planning of an armed intervention and makes demands on an extensive coordination in the operating units in the field (military as well as civilian). Comprehensive approach is primarily about a more rational use of resources in areas of conflict with the aim of achieving quick results and much effect. With this initiative it is the intention of the government to ensure that the use of Danish national resources in international operations of crisis management takes place in a focused, effective and coordinated way. For that reason the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the Danish Ministry of Defence initiated a proposal in 2004 for using Danish national resources in international operations of crisis management in a focused, effective and coordinated way with the involvement of relevant and competent operators in the form of contributions from governmental institutions, the military, humanitarian organizations and to a certain extent also civilian enterprises. It is the object of this paper to study how the operators of the area individually speak of comprehensive approach and why no action is taken taking into account an ostensible concurrent agreement that comprehensive approach is a good idea. Our research of the problem is based on a social-constructive perspective using as the underlying basis ‘the empty signifier’, theories of hypocrisy and legitimacy, their predication being relevant to the research question. Among other things our analysis has shown us that an alternative research question that could have resulted in the same analysis and conclusion could have been “Who is the comprehensive approach intended for?” On one side the concept comprehensive approach is closed for commenting as regards it being a good idea but at the same time open for commenting as regards content. To maintain the empty signifier for comprehensive approach, the operators of the area play the hypocrite to adhere to their legitimacy, and the final analyses uncover how the operators of the area individually identify themselves in relation to the comprehensive approach. In that way the operators become hybrids – they appear as fragile when they benefit the most in the role of the victim – and at the same time they appear as strong because neither operator knows what it is about. The operators thereby take the role from which they benefit the most in the situation. With this it can be said that where the operators were to be the means in relation to the aim, paradoxically the operators themselves become the aim in relation to the means.

EducationsMaster of Public Administration, (Executive Master Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages104