Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Coups and Democracy

  • Nikolay Marinov and Hein Goemans
Abstract

This study uses new data on coups d’état and elections to document a striking development: whereas the vast majority of successful coups before 1991 installed durable rules, the majority of coups after that have been followed by competitive elections. The article argues that after the Cold War, international pressure influenced the consequences of coups. In the post-Cold War era, countries that were most dependent on Western aid were the first to embrace competitive elections after their coups. This theory also helps explain the pronounced decline in the number of coups since 1991. While the coup d’état has been (and still is) the single most important factor leading to the downfall of democratic governments, these findings indicate that the new generation of coups has been far less harmful for democracy than their historical predecessors.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
*

Department of Political Science, Yale University; Department of Political Science, University of Rochester (emails: nikolay.marinov@yale.edu, hgoemans@mail.rochester.edu). We thank participants at panels at the 2008 International Studies Association Annual Meeting, the 2008 Midwest Political Science Annual Meeting and the 2010 American Political Science Association Meeting for their feedback. We also thank participants at worskshops held at Yale University, the University of Rochester, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Columbia University, Princeton University, the London School of Economics and the University of Mannheim between 2009 and 2012 for comments and suggestions. We thank Page Fortna, Gary Cox and Jay Ulfelder for their comments on an earlier draft. Any remaining errors are ours alone. Data replication sets and online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0007123413000264

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Alesina, Alberto Dollar, David. 2000. Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why? Journal of Economic Growth 5:3363.
Alesina, Alberto, Ozler, Sule, Roubini, Nouriel Swagel, Phillip. 1996. Political Instability and Economic Growth. Journal of Economic Growth 1:189211.
Beck, Nathaniel, Katz, Jonathan N. Tucker, Richard. 1998. Taking Time Seriously: Time-Series-Cross-Section Analysis with a Binary Dependent Variable. American Journal of Political Science 42 (4):12601288.
Beissinger, Mark R. 2007. Structure and Example in Modular Political Phenomena: The Diffusion of Bulldozer/Rose/Orange/Tulip Revolutions. Perspectives on Politics 5 (2):259276.
Belkin, Aaron Schofer, Evan. 2003. Toward a Structural Understanding of Coup Risk. Journal of Conflict Resolution 47:594620.
Bermeo, Sarah Blodgett. 2011. Foreign Aid and Regime Change: A Role for Donor Intent. World Development 39 (11):20212031.
Bienen, Henry Van De Walle, Nicolas. 1989. Time and Power in Africa. American Political Science Review 83:1934.
Boix, Carles. 2011. Democracy, Development, and the International System. American Political Science Review 105 (4):809828.
Boix, Charles Stokes, Susan. 2003. Endogenous Democratization. World Politics 55:517549.
Brancati, Dawn Snyder, Jack L.. 2011. Rushing to the Polls: The Causes of Premature Postconflict Elections. Journal of Conflict Resolution 55 (3):469492.
Bunce, Valerie Wolchik, Sharon. 2010. Defeating Dictators: Electoral Change and Stability in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes. World Politics 62:4386.
Burnside, Craig Dollar, David. 2000. Aid, Policies and Growth. The American Economic Review 90 (4):847868.
Bush, Sarah Sunn. 2011. International Politics and the Spread of Quotas for Women in Legislatures. International Organization 65 (1):103137.
Cheibub, Jose Antonio. 2006. Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, and Democracy. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cheibub, José Antonio, Gandhi, Jennifer Vreeland, James Raymond. 2010. Democracy and Dictatorship Revisited. Public Choice 143:67101.
Collier, P. 2010. Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places. New York: Harper.
Corstange, Daniel Marinov, Nikolay. 2012. Taking Sides in Other People's Elections: The Polarizing Effect of Foreign Intervention. American Journal of Political Science 53:655670.
Coufoudakis, Van. 1977. The European Economic Community and the ‘Freezing’ of the Greek Association, 1967–1974. Journal of Common Market Studies 16:114131.
Crawford, Gordon. 2000. European Union Development Cooperation and the Promotion of Democracy. In Democracy Assistance: International Co-operation for Democratization, edited by Peter Burnell, 90128. London and Portland: Frank Cass.
Dafoe, Allan. 2012. First Do No Harm: The Risks of Modeling Temporal Dependence. Manuscript, Yale University.
Deutsch, Karl. 1961. Social Mobilization and Political Development. American Political Science Review 55:493514.
Djankov, Simeon, Montalvo, Jose Reynal-Querol, Marta. 2008. The Curse of Aid. Journal of Economic Growth 13 (3):169194.
Donno, Daniela. 2010. Who is Punished? Regional Intergovernmental Organizations and the Enforcement of Democratic Norms. International Organization 64:593625.
Dunning, Thad. 2004. Conditioning the Effects of Aid: Cold War Politics, Donor Credibility, and Democracy in Africa. International Organization 58:409423.
Feaver, Peter D. 1999. Civil-Military Relations. Annual Review of Political Science 2 (1):211241.
Finer, Samuel E. 1988. The Man on Horseback: The Role of the Military in Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Geddes, Barbara. 1999. What do We Know About Democratization After Twenty Years? Annual Review of Political Science 2:115144.
Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede Ward, Michael D.. 2006. Diffusion and the International Context of Democratization. International Organization 60 (4):911933.
Goemans, Henk E., Gleditsch, Kristian Skrede Chiozza, Giacomo. 2009. Introducing Archigos: A Dataset of Political Leaders. Journal of Peace Research 46 (2):269283.
Gurr, Ted Robert. 2000. Polity IV. College Park: Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland.
Hagopian, Frances Mainwaring, Scott. 2005. The Third Wave of Democratization in Latin America: Advances and Setbacks. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Huntington, Samuel. 1968. Political Order in Changing Societies. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Hyde, Susan. 2007. The Observer Effect in International Politics: Evidence from a Natural Experiment. World Politics 60 (1):3763.
Hyde, Susan. 2011. The Pseudo-Democrats Dilemma: Why Election Observation Became an International Norm. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Hyde, Susan D. Marinov, Nikolay. 2012. Which Elections Can be Lost? Political Analysis 20 (2):191210.
Ikenberry, G. John. 2000. America's Liberal Grand Strategy: Democracy and National Security in the Post-War Era. In American Democracy Promotion: Impulses, Strategies, and Impacts, edited by Michael Cox, G. John Ikenberry and Takashi Inoguchi, 103126. New York: Oxford University Press.
Jackman, Robert. 1976. Politicians in Uniform: Military Governments and Social Change in the Third World. The American Political Science Review 70:10781097.
Jackman, Robert. 1978. The Predictability of Coups d’état: A Model with African Data. The American Political Science Review 72 (4):12621275.
Johnson, Thomas, Slater, Robert McGowan, Pat. 1984. Explaining African Military Coups d'Etat, 1960–1982. The American Political Science Review 78:622640.
Kalyvas, Stathis N. Balcells, Laia. 2010. International System and Technologies of Rebellion: How the End of the Cold War Shaped Internal Conflict. American Political Science Review 104 (3):415429.
Karakatsanis, N. 1997. Do Attitudes Matter? The Military and Democratic Consolidation in Greece. Armed Forces & Society 24 (2):289314.
Kelley, Judith. 2008. Assessing the Complex Evolution of Norms: The Rise of International Election Monitoring. International Organization 62 (2):221255.
Kelley, Judith. 2012. International Influence on Elections in Transition States. Annual Review of Political Science 15 (4):203220.
King, Gary, Tomz, Michael Wittenberg, Jason. 2000. Making the Most of Statistical Analyses: Improving Interpretation and Presentation. American Journal of Political Science 44:347361.
Knack, Stephen. 2004. Does Foreign Aid Promote Democracy. International Studies Quarterly 48:251266.
LaCouture, Jean. 1970. The Demigods: Charismatic Leadership in the Third World. New York: Alfred Knopf.
Le Vine, Victor. 2004. Politics in Francophone Africa. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Levitsky, Steven Way, Lucan. 2010. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lipset, Seymor. 1959. Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy. American Political Science Review 53 (1):69105.
Londregan, John B. Poole, Keith T.. 1990. Poverty, the Coup Trap, and the Seizure of Executive Power. World Politics 42 (2):151183.
Luttwak, Edward. 1969. Coup d'Etat: A Practical Handbook. New York: Alfred Knopf.
Marshall, Monty G. Marshall, Donna Ramsey. 2013. Coup d’état Events, 1946–2012. Vienna, VA: Center for Systemic Peace.
McFaul, Michael. 2007. Ukraine Imports Democracy – External Influences on the Orange Revolution. International Security 32 (2):4583.
McGowan, Pat Johnson, Thomas. 2003. African Military Coups d'Etat and Underdevelopment: A Quantitative Historical Analysis. The Journal of Modern African Studies 47:594620.
McGowan, Patrick. 2003. Journal of Modern African Studies 41:339–70.
Morrison, Kevin. 2009. Oil, Nontax Revenue, and the Redistributional Foundations of Regime Stability. International Organization 63:107138.
Naftali, Timothy, ed. 2001. John F. Kennedy: The Great Crises. New York: Norton.
Needler, Martin. 1966. Political Development and Military Intervention in Latin America. The American Political Science Review 60:616626.
Pevehouse, Jon C. 2002. Democracy from the Outside-In? International Organizations and Democratization. International Organization 56 (3):515549.
Powell, Jonathan M. Thyne, Clayton L.. 2011. Global Instances of Coups from 1950 to 2010. Journal of Peace Research 48 (2):249259.
Powell, Jon. 2012. Determinants of the Attempting and Outcome of Coups d’état. Journal of Conflict Resolution 56 (6):10171040.
Przeworski, Adam Limongi, Fernando. 1997. Modernization – Theories and Facts. World Politics 49 (2):155183.
Przeworski, Adam, Alvarez, Michael E., Cheibub, José Antonio Limongi, Fernando. 2000. Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Well-Being in the World, 1950–1990. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Roessler, Philip. 2011. The Enemy Within: Personal Rule, Coups, and Civil War in Africa. World Politics 63 (2):300346.
Schraeder, Peter J., Steven, W. Hook Bruce, Taylor. 1998. Clarifying the Foreign Aid Puzzle: A Comparison of American, Japanese, French, and Swedish Aid Flows. World Politics 50 (2):294323.
Smith, Alastair. 2008. The Perils of Unearned Income. The Journal of Politics 70:780793.
Smith, Karen. 2003. European Union Foreign Policy in a Changing World. Cambridge, UK: Polity.
Svolik, Milan. 2009. Power Sharing and Leadership Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes. American Journal of Political Science 53 (2):477494.
Taylor, Charles Lewis, Jodice, David A. 1983. World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators III: 1948–1982. Compiled by Charles Lewis Taylor. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.
Tucker, Joshua. 2007. Enough! Electoral Fraud, Collective Action Problems and Post-Communist Colored Revolutions. Perspectives on Politics 5 (3):535551.
Whitehead, Laurence, ed. 1996. The International Dimensions of Democratization. Oxford Studies in Democratization. New York: Oxford University Press.
Wright, Joseph. 2009. How Foreign Aid Can Foster Democratization in Authoritarian Regimes. American Journal of Political Science 53 (3):552571.
Yalman, Nur. 1968. Intervention and Extrication: The Officer Corps in the Turkish Crisis. In The Military Intervenes: Case Studies in Political Development, edited by Henry Bienen, 127144. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Zuk, Gary Thompson, William. 1982. The Post-Coup Military Spending Question: A Pooled Cross-Sectional Time-Series Analysis. American Political Science Review 76:6074.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Marinov Supplementary Material
Supplementary Data

 Unknown (581 KB)
581 KB
PDF
Supplementary materials

Marinov Supplementary Material
Appendix 1

 PDF (119 KB)
119 KB
PDF
Supplementary materials

Marinov Supplementary Material
Appendix 2

 PDF (153 KB)
153 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed