The causes and outcomes of coup during civil war

Curtis Bell, Jun Koga Sudduth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Though approximately one in four coup attempts takes place during an ongoing civil war, scholars have not yet analyzed how the incidence of civil war affects coup attempts and outcomes. We conduct the first empirical analysis of the relationship between ongoing civil war and coup activity, finding (1) war increases the risk of a coup attempt, though (2) war-time coup attempts are significantly less likely to be successful, and (3) the risk of war-time coup is much higher when states face stronger rebel groups that pose greater threats to the political survival of the incumbent government. We attribute these findings to the pernicious effect of ongoing war on the welfare of the military elites and soldiers who have the greatest capacity to execute a coup attempt. As war diminishes their welfare and creates uncertainty about the future of the state, potential plotters become more willing to accept riskier coup attempts than they might plot during peace-time. Coup motivations are greatest when incumbents are more likely to lose their wars, and this causes coup plotters to attempt more and riskier coups when rebels are relatively strong.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1432-1455
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Volume61
Issue number7
Early online date22 Sep 2015
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Sep 2015

Fingerprint

civil war
cause
peace time
welfare
military elite
soldier
Civil war
incidence
uncertainty
threat
Group
time
Incumbents

Keywords

  • coup
  • civil war
  • political survival
  • leader survival
  • regime stability

Cite this

@article{ed39c151e40346eead5544e7d49d968e,
title = "The causes and outcomes of coup during civil war",
abstract = "Though approximately one in four coup attempts takes place during an ongoing civil war, scholars have not yet analyzed how the incidence of civil war affects coup attempts and outcomes. We conduct the first empirical analysis of the relationship between ongoing civil war and coup activity, finding (1) war increases the risk of a coup attempt, though (2) war-time coup attempts are significantly less likely to be successful, and (3) the risk of war-time coup is much higher when states face stronger rebel groups that pose greater threats to the political survival of the incumbent government. We attribute these findings to the pernicious effect of ongoing war on the welfare of the military elites and soldiers who have the greatest capacity to execute a coup attempt. As war diminishes their welfare and creates uncertainty about the future of the state, potential plotters become more willing to accept riskier coup attempts than they might plot during peace-time. Coup motivations are greatest when incumbents are more likely to lose their wars, and this causes coup plotters to attempt more and riskier coups when rebels are relatively strong.",
keywords = "coup, civil war, political survival, leader survival, regime stability",
author = "Curtis Bell and Sudduth, {Jun Koga}",
year = "2015",
month = "9",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1177/0022002715603098",
language = "English",
volume = "61",
pages = "1432--1455",
journal = "Journal of Conflict Resolution",
issn = "0022-0027",
number = "7",

}

The causes and outcomes of coup during civil war. / Bell, Curtis; Sudduth, Jun Koga.

In: Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 61, No. 7, 22.09.2015, p. 1432-1455.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The causes and outcomes of coup during civil war

AU - Bell, Curtis

AU - Sudduth, Jun Koga

PY - 2015/9/22

Y1 - 2015/9/22

N2 - Though approximately one in four coup attempts takes place during an ongoing civil war, scholars have not yet analyzed how the incidence of civil war affects coup attempts and outcomes. We conduct the first empirical analysis of the relationship between ongoing civil war and coup activity, finding (1) war increases the risk of a coup attempt, though (2) war-time coup attempts are significantly less likely to be successful, and (3) the risk of war-time coup is much higher when states face stronger rebel groups that pose greater threats to the political survival of the incumbent government. We attribute these findings to the pernicious effect of ongoing war on the welfare of the military elites and soldiers who have the greatest capacity to execute a coup attempt. As war diminishes their welfare and creates uncertainty about the future of the state, potential plotters become more willing to accept riskier coup attempts than they might plot during peace-time. Coup motivations are greatest when incumbents are more likely to lose their wars, and this causes coup plotters to attempt more and riskier coups when rebels are relatively strong.

AB - Though approximately one in four coup attempts takes place during an ongoing civil war, scholars have not yet analyzed how the incidence of civil war affects coup attempts and outcomes. We conduct the first empirical analysis of the relationship between ongoing civil war and coup activity, finding (1) war increases the risk of a coup attempt, though (2) war-time coup attempts are significantly less likely to be successful, and (3) the risk of war-time coup is much higher when states face stronger rebel groups that pose greater threats to the political survival of the incumbent government. We attribute these findings to the pernicious effect of ongoing war on the welfare of the military elites and soldiers who have the greatest capacity to execute a coup attempt. As war diminishes their welfare and creates uncertainty about the future of the state, potential plotters become more willing to accept riskier coup attempts than they might plot during peace-time. Coup motivations are greatest when incumbents are more likely to lose their wars, and this causes coup plotters to attempt more and riskier coups when rebels are relatively strong.

KW - coup

KW - civil war

KW - political survival

KW - leader survival

KW - regime stability

UR - http://jcr.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/09/21/0022002715603098.abstract

U2 - 10.1177/0022002715603098

DO - 10.1177/0022002715603098

M3 - Article

VL - 61

SP - 1432

EP - 1455

JO - Journal of Conflict Resolution

T2 - Journal of Conflict Resolution

JF - Journal of Conflict Resolution

SN - 0022-0027

IS - 7

ER -