At the end of the twentieth century (after a long history of coups d’état, a military uprising, a civil war, and a four-decade dictatorship) the Spanish public had serious doubts about the democratic nature of the armed forces.
In 1989, the Spanish armed forces first took part in an international mission. Now, after 25 years of continuous active participation in overseas missions, public opinion polls rank the armed forces as the second most trusted institution in the country. International missions have contributed to (1) modernizing the Spanish armed forces; (2) changing the mentality of the Spanish military; and (3) improving Spanish society’s perception of the armed forces’ role. All in all, the armed forces’ performance abroad has helped improve domestic civil–military relations.
Referencia completa: Martínez Rafael y Durán, Marién (2016), “International Missions as a way to improve domestic civil-military relations: The Spanish case 1989-2015”, Democracy and Security, Issue, 4, pp. 1-23. (Requiere suscripción).