März 2017
Public Lecture by Prof Dr Sebastian Elischer
08.03.2017 16:00 Uhr

P U B L I C   L E C T U R E


Prof Dr Sebastian Elischer

Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics,University of Florida, USA


THE DEMOCRATIC COUP THESIS: Evidence from Africa & beyond


Wed, 8 March 2017, 4–6 pm

S 8, GW II


In the aftermath of a military coup, the armed forces have several options to determine the future trajectory of a political regime. The junta can refuse to leave power and establish a military dictatorship. Alternatively, the junta can withdraw from power and allow for democratic elections. Finally, the junta can intervene in the electoral process and rig elections in favor of their preferred candidate or party. Recent and prominent quantitative studies suggest a positive relationship between coups, competitive elections and democratization in the post-Cold War period. Drawing on the literature on autocratic resilience and the logic of fuzzy-set theoretical models, the paper re-examines the political consequences of all post-1989 military coups on a case-by-case basis. It finds little reason to be enthusiastic about the outcomes of coups. The paper is particularly interested in why juntas withdraw from power in the aftermath of a military coup. While quantitative studies highlight the importance of aid dependency, this paper finds domestic factors such as the involvement of citizens in civil society organizations and the absence of social conflict to be more relevant.