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

Journal Article


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.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • 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.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-80155131172

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/commpapers/1940

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 19

Start Page


  • 277

End Page


  • 296

Volume


  • 51

Issue


  • 3

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.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2011

Citation


  • 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.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-80155131172

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/commpapers/1940

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 19

Start Page


  • 277

End Page


  • 296

Volume


  • 51

Issue


  • 3