Causes and Triggers of Coups d'état: An Event History Analysis

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Hiroi, T. and Omori, S. (2013), Causes and Triggers of Coups d'état. Politics & Policy, 41: 39-64. doi:10.1111/polp.12001


What explains the propensities of countries to experience coups d'état? This article tests various, at times competing, theories of coups using event history analysis by modeling coups as repeatable events. We highlight the different roles that political regimes play in inducing or deterring coups, and argue that political regimes that are not clearly democratic or autocratic are the most vulnerable to coups. Features of hybrid regimes increase their underlying coup vulnerability and the impact of coup‐triggering events. While existing literature has noted higher coup frequency in nondemocratic regimes than in democratic regimes, we note the impact of differences within the nondemocratic regimes, with particular emphasis on the timing of a coup event. Contributing to growing research on variations in nondemocratic regimes and their consequences, our analysis of global coup data in 152 countries indicates that very autocratic regimes are much less vulnerable to coups than hybrid regimes.