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Support for Coups in the Americas: Mass Norms and Democratization

  • Kaitlen J. Cassell (a1), John A. Booth (a2) and Mitchell A. Seligson (a3)


Coups d’état, once a common end for democracies in the Americas, have declined sharply in recent years. This article investigates whether overall public support for coups is also in decline. Examining 21 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean from 2004 to 2014 helps to evaluate two alternative theses on democratization: Mainwaring and Pérez-Liñán’s 2013 normative regime preferences theory, which inquires (but does not test) whether public opinion can signal to elites a reluctance or willingness to support a coup; and classic modernization theory (Inglehart 1988; Inglehart and Welzel 2005). We find a substantively meaningful effect of democratic attitudes on coup support and a weak effect for national wealth, from which we infer that evolving elite values and preferences are paralleled at the mass level and that together, those two trends play a stronger role in the consolidation of democratic regimes than does modernization.


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Support for Coups in the Americas: Mass Norms and Democratization

  • Kaitlen J. Cassell (a1), John A. Booth (a2) and Mitchell A. Seligson (a3)


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