Failed coups, democratization, and authoritarian entrenchment: opening up or digging in?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Standard

Failed coups, democratization, and authoritarian entrenchment : opening up or digging in? / Powell, Jonathan; Smith, Gary E.; Chacha, Mwita.

In: African Affairs, Vol. 118, No. 471, 04.2019, p. 238-258.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

APA

Vancouver

Author

Powell, Jonathan ; Smith, Gary E. ; Chacha, Mwita. / Failed coups, democratization, and authoritarian entrenchment : opening up or digging in?. In: African Affairs. 2019 ; Vol. 118, No. 471. pp. 238-258.

Bibtex

@article{2564a1f83d4e4a15a6d4fb4cc741f214,
title = "Failed coups, democratization, and authoritarian entrenchment: opening up or digging in?",
abstract = "Long maligned as the largest threat to democratization, recent studies have suggested that military coups can act as important windows of opportunity for democratization in authoritarian regimes. It is argued that even failed coup attempts can roughly double the probability that an authoritarian regime democratizes in the next three years. We revisit these findings by assessing each case of a democratic transition occurring in a failed coup spell in Africa, using the standards of prior work. Our analysis points to a more pessimistic view of the influence of failed coups. Specifically, we find that the nature of these transitions, often being drawn out over several years, and the nature of the data previously utilized to test the association undermine the ability to observe a democratizing effect. Instead of failed coups providing a significant boost to democratization, we find they are more likely to reinforce the country's previous political trajectory. Failed coups serve incumbents with the dual benefit of both outing their opponents and providing a pretext for their removal, ultimately providing a policy boost for both democrats and autocrats.",
author = "Jonathan Powell and Smith, {Gary E.} and Mwita Chacha",
year = "2019",
month = apr,
doi = "10.1093/afraf/ady050",
language = "English",
volume = "118",
pages = "238--258",
journal = "African Affairs",
issn = "0001-9909",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "471",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Failed coups, democratization, and authoritarian entrenchment

T2 - opening up or digging in?

AU - Powell, Jonathan

AU - Smith, Gary E.

AU - Chacha, Mwita

PY - 2019/4

Y1 - 2019/4

N2 - Long maligned as the largest threat to democratization, recent studies have suggested that military coups can act as important windows of opportunity for democratization in authoritarian regimes. It is argued that even failed coup attempts can roughly double the probability that an authoritarian regime democratizes in the next three years. We revisit these findings by assessing each case of a democratic transition occurring in a failed coup spell in Africa, using the standards of prior work. Our analysis points to a more pessimistic view of the influence of failed coups. Specifically, we find that the nature of these transitions, often being drawn out over several years, and the nature of the data previously utilized to test the association undermine the ability to observe a democratizing effect. Instead of failed coups providing a significant boost to democratization, we find they are more likely to reinforce the country's previous political trajectory. Failed coups serve incumbents with the dual benefit of both outing their opponents and providing a pretext for their removal, ultimately providing a policy boost for both democrats and autocrats.

AB - Long maligned as the largest threat to democratization, recent studies have suggested that military coups can act as important windows of opportunity for democratization in authoritarian regimes. It is argued that even failed coup attempts can roughly double the probability that an authoritarian regime democratizes in the next three years. We revisit these findings by assessing each case of a democratic transition occurring in a failed coup spell in Africa, using the standards of prior work. Our analysis points to a more pessimistic view of the influence of failed coups. Specifically, we find that the nature of these transitions, often being drawn out over several years, and the nature of the data previously utilized to test the association undermine the ability to observe a democratizing effect. Instead of failed coups providing a significant boost to democratization, we find they are more likely to reinforce the country's previous political trajectory. Failed coups serve incumbents with the dual benefit of both outing their opponents and providing a pretext for their removal, ultimately providing a policy boost for both democrats and autocrats.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85072319115&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/afraf/ady050

DO - 10.1093/afraf/ady050

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85072319115

VL - 118

SP - 238

EP - 258

JO - African Affairs

JF - African Affairs

SN - 0001-9909

IS - 471

ER -