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The latest developments of conscription in Western Europe are framed in the long-term process of the decline of the mass army. Ten measures of that decline are reviewed to conclude that the social forces, namely democratic reason, have been much more influential in the decision-making process of this policy than is commonly admitted. Although on the short-term, with the exceptions of Spain and Italy, it is reason of state that better accounts for the end of conscription, on the long-term this is partly regarded as a direct or indirect outcome of social mobilisation. However, the completion of the process toward the all-volunteer force does not necessarily bring the end of conscription and a specific analysis of every country is presented to assess the rationale and prospects for change concerning this policy.