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Compulsory military service as a social integrator


[ 1 ] Adam Mickiewicz University, ul. Wieniawskiego 1, 61-712 Poznan, Poland

Year of publication


Published in

Security and Defence Quarterly

Journal year: 2020 | Journal volume: vol. 30 | Journal number: no. 3

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • Social integration
  • Defence belief
  • Security threat
  • Post-modern army

EN Compulsory military service has become very rare over the last 30 years in the western world. In the past, most countries considered military service as a socialisation platform, given the fact that most of the population was recruited and military units were a "meeting point" for different cultures – because of that the service then was functional as a social integrator. The current research studied changes in social attitude during compulsory military service in Israel, where the society is considered to be essentially divided around ethnical and national issues. This study is based on an analysis of the attitudes of 3200 internet questionnaire participants via social networks in Israel, followed by a U-test of the collected data. Half of the participants were high-school students (average age 17) and half of them discharged soldiers (average age 23). Analysis of the results reveals significant evidence: discharged soldiers tend to be more tolerant then high-school students with regard to other cultures and ethnic origins. A discharged IDF soldier is less afraid of security threats and considers budget prioritisation towards social welfare to be more important than security challenges. These findings show that compulsory military service can still be effective as a social integrator, even in the post-modern world where countries are dealing with migration issues and ethno-national tensions.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

65 - 80



License type

CC BY-NC-ND (attribution - noncommercial - no derivatives)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Release date


Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Ministry points / journal


Ministry points / journal in years 2017-2021