Martin Crotty, Neil J. Diamant and Mark Edele, “The Politics of Veteran Benefits in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative History”

What happened to veterans of the nations involved in the world wars? How did they fare when they returned home and needed benefits? How were they recognized (or not) by their governments and fellow citizens? Where, and under what circumstances, did they obtain an elevated post-war status?

In this sophisticated comparative history of government policies regarding veterans, Martin Crotty, Neil J. Diamant, and Mark Edele examine veterans’ struggles for entitlements and benefits in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan, the Soviet Union, China, Germany, and Australia after both global conflicts. They illuminate how veterans’ success or failure in winning benefits were shaped by a range of factors which shaped their ability to exert political influence. Some veterans’ groups fought politicians for improvements to their post-war lives; this lobbying, the authors show, could set the foundation for beneficial veteran treatment regimes or it could weaken the political forces proposing unfavourable policies.

The authors highlight cases of veterans who secured (and in some cases failed to secure) benefits and status after wars both won and lost; within both democratic and authoritarian polities; under liberal, conservative, and even Leninist governments; after wars fought by volunteers or conscripts, at home or abroad, and for legitimate or subsequently discredited causes. Veterans who succeeded did so, for the most part, by forcing their agendas through lobbying, protesting, and mobilizing public support. The Politics of Veterans Benefits in the Twentieth Century provides a largescale map for a research field with a future: comparative veteran studies.

The Politics of Veteran Benefits in the Twentieth Century is ambitious in scope, providing analysis of an impressively diverse array of country case studies, and with conclusions of interest to the wider policy community.”

Thomas Davies, City, University of London, author of Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations

“An exceptionally valuable collaborative book—practically a first. Until now, the field has invariably been conducted through a national lens. If readers wait for a bigger, better book to cover everything, they will be waiting a very long time.”

Peter Stanley, University of New South Wales, author of Die in Battle, Do Not Despair

Martin Crotty is Associate Professor of History at the University of Queensland and author of Making the Australian Male. Neil J. Diamant is Professor of Asian Law and Society at Dickinson College and author of Revolutionizing the Family and Embattled Glory. Mark Edele is the Hansen Professor of History at the University of Melbourne and the author of, among others, Debates on Stalinism, The Soviet Union, and Stalin’s Defectors. Follow him on Twitter @EdeleMark.

Cornell University Press

Publication date: 10/15/2020

Pages: 240