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1 - Coups, Coup-Proofing, and Military Politics in Endgames

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 September 2020

Hicham Bou Nassif
Affiliation:
Claremont McKenna College, California
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Summary

The starting point of my book is straightforward: military coups have been the main causes for autocrats’ downfall globally throughout the twentieth century. Consequently, the survival of nondemocratic leaders in coup-prone countries is above anything else a function of successful coup-proofing. I show how frequent coups have been in developing countries following decolonization, but also, how harsh the fate of fallen leaders have typically been following military takeovers – particularly in the Arab world. To coup-proof, autocrats used ideational factors (i.e., fostering shared aversions); or material factors (i.e., counterbalancing; promoting the material interests of senior officers; divide-and-rule tactics); or combinations of both. I show how coup-proofing tactics structure civil–military relations differently, but also, amplify or reduce vertical and horizontal rifts in officer corps. I then link these variations to military behavior when popular uprisings challenge the authoritarian status quo.

Type
Chapter
Information
Endgames
Military Response to Protest in Arab Autocracies
, pp. 25 - 57
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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