DOI: 10.1177/0095327x231225771 ISSN: 0095-327X

The Impact of Military Policing on Armed Forces: The Case of Italy

Matteo Mazziotti di Celso
  • Safety Research
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

In recent years, governments have progressively expanded the military’s role in internal security, often utilizing military policing to enhance their consensus. However, extending the armed forces’ participation in internal security gives rise to problems within the military. This article introduces a framework to analyze these problems and applies it to the explorative case study of “Strade Sicure,” an internal security operation of the Italian Army. The framework is used to develop the working hypothesis that Italian soldiers deployed in the operation are transformed into subordinates of the police: They are relegated to routine constabulary duties and work under the strict supervision of police officers. The article tests the hypothesis with qualitative data, including interviews with retired military personnel. The research contributes to the debate on military role expansion by offering a framework to study its effects on the military. Moreover, the article provides empirical evidence that holds practical policy implications.

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