Title

A fair and equitable method of recruitment? Conscription by ballot into the Australian army during the Vietnam war

RIS ID

42844

Publication Details

Ville, S. & Siminski, P. M. (2011). A fair and equitable method of recruitment? Conscription by ballot into the Australian army during the Vietnam war. Australian Economic History Review: an Asia-Pacific journal of economic, business and social history, 51 (3), 277-296.

Abstract

Australia's commitment to the Vietnam War drew on the selective conscription of additional manpower through 16 biannual ballots. Twenty-year-old men were liable to serve if their date of birth was drawn out. The randomness of the ballot was seen as an equitable method of selection for a system of labour coercion that was potentially life-threatening. We investigate the various stages of conscription of these `national servicemen¿ for army service in Vietnam from 1965 to 1972 and evaluate the extent to which the processes provided for fair and equitable selection. Comparisons are drawn with a similar process of Vietnam War era conscription in the US.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8446.2011.00335.x