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Reviews

"The strength of Defect or Defend lies in its exploration of a neglected issue: military defection from authoritarian rule during popular uprisings."

"This book is an important contribution to the literature on Southeast Asian civil-military relations. Lee tackles an important problem—how the armed forces of authoritarian regimes respond to popular upheavals and why—with great competence: his research is exhaustive and he presents his case clearly and persuasively. This volume should be on the shelf of all those interested in the region and its armed forces."

"Why would militaries defend a dictator against popular protests? When do they defect from an autocrat and why? When the so-called Arab Spring exploded, the scholarly debate on these questions gained momentum. This book makes a tremendous contribution to this scholarly debate through a unique combination of thorough theorizing and in-depth case studies drawn from the spectrum of Asian autocracies. It is relevant for all scholars interested in the study of civil-military relations, the survival or collapse of authoritarian rule, or the dynamics and outcomes of regime contentions."

"Terence Lee convincingly demonstrates how personalistic authoritarian regimes foster splits within the officer corps that lead disaffected soldiers to align with civilian protesters. In doing so, the author restores the armed forces and civil-military affairs to their rightful place in the study of authoritarian regimes and why they fall."

"A model for case study research."

"Defect or Defend not only provides an interesting and provocative argument but also includes detailed empirical material that allows the reader to extend that analysis even further."

"...a valuable contribution to the literature on popular revolt and regime change."