Identifying and Assessing the Motivations and Objectives of Coups d’état

Grants to Support Faculty Fellows' Research
Grant Year

The success or failure of a coup d’état can reverse the fortunes of a country. Yet the scholarly literature typically defines success by an arbitrary temporal metric of how long the coup plotters stay in power after seizing office. This trend has resulted in a literature at best confused and at worst unmoored to reality. This is unacceptable if we are to meaningfully communicate to one another as academics or have any value and relevance to policymakers. As an extension of our existing research, which has coded regional responses to coups, we propose a related project that addresses the gap and confusion in the coup literature regarding the objectives of coup-makers. We expect that identifying and analyzing the objectives of coup plotters will afford insights into broader questions regarding the causes, incidence and outcomes of coups.