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More on Defining Coups

Jonathan M. Powell of Nazarbayev University has some thoughts on Egypt’s Coup which includes a quick survey of political science literature on the subject of coups.  He includes this rather straightforward definition that is pretty much in alignment with the one I offered earlier today:

Different scholars might be interested in different research questions, and those questions might cause definitions to slightly vary.  What we see as a general trend is that an executive is removed (or an attempt is made to remove them) through unconstitutional means by other members of the state apparatus (government, military, security services, etc).  Politicians might attempt to frame events as coups or non-coups to meet political ends, as we will undoubtedly see with the Egyptian case.

He includes a table is his post from a recent paper that he co-authored which reviews definitions of coups in the literature.

h/t:  Clayton Tyne at The Monkey Cage

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter