Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 September 2020
This chapter is meant for comparative purposes to test my hypotheses outside Egypt and Syria, my two major case studies. Tunisian autocrats Habib Bourguiba and Zein al-ʿAbidin Ben ʿAli strengthened the police and the ruling party as a counterweight to the armed forces – in other words, they centered their coup-proofing strategy on counterbalancing. In Libya, Muʿammar al-Qaddhafi crafted a complex coup-proofing system mixing divide-and-rule tactics with counterbalancing and ethnic stacking. I study the evolution of coup-proofing in both countries and show that divergent military behavior in 2011 – i.e., splintering of the armed forces in Libya vs cohesiveness in Tunisia; defection in Tunis vs loyalty in Tripoli – reflects the institutional legacies previously established by various coup-proofing tactics. Just as I did for Egypt and Syria, I put several other hypotheses previously posited to the test in this chapter.