In this Book

summary

In this lively and provocative book, Erica De Bruin looks at the threats that rulers face from their own armed forces. Can they make their regimes impervious to coups?

How to Prevent Coups d'État shows that how leaders organize their coercive institutions has a profound effect on the survival of their regimes. When rulers use presidential guards, militarized police, and militia to counterbalance the regular military, efforts to oust them from power via coups d'état are less likely to succeed. Even as counterbalancing helps to prevent successful interventions, however, the resentment that it generates within the regular military can provoke new coup attempts. And because counterbalancing changes how soldiers and police perceive the costs and benefits of a successful overthrow, it can create incentives for protracted fighting that result in the escalation of a coup into full-blown civil war.

Drawing on an original dataset of state security forces in 110 countries over a span of fifty years, as well as case studies of coup attempts in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, De Bruin sheds light on how counterbalancing affects regime survival. Understanding the dynamics of counterbalancing, she shows, can help analysts predict when coups will occur, whether they will succeed, and how violent they are likely to be. The arguments and evidence in this book suggest that while counterbalancing may prevent successful coups, it is a risky strategy to pursue—and one that may weaken regimes in the long term.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half-Title Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Tables and Figures
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xvi
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  1. Introduction: Preventing Coups d’État
  2. pp. 1-12
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  1. 1. The Logic of Counterbalancing
  2. pp. 13-37
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  1. 2. Counterbalancing and Coup Failure
  2. pp. 38-56
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  1. 3. How Counterbalancing Works: Testing the Causal Mechanisms
  2. pp. 57-78
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  1. 4. An Effective Deterrent?: Counterbalancing and Coup Attempts
  2. pp. 79-92
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  1. 5. Challenges to Building Coercive Institutions
  2. pp. 93-114
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  1. 6. How Coups d’État Escalate to Civil War
  2. pp. 115-130
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  1. Conclusion: Coercive Institutions and Regime Survival
  2. pp. 131-140
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  1. Appendix: Counterbalancing Data
  2. pp. 141-154
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 155-192
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 193-199
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781501751936
Related ISBN
9781501751929
MARC Record
OCLC
1140380459
Pages
216
Launched on MUSE
2020-10-16
Language
English
Open Access
No
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