Global instances of coups from 1950 to 2010: A new dataset
Once considered a 'hot topic' among scholars, research on coups d'état has waned in recent years. This decline is surprising given that 7 coups have happened between January 2008 and December 2010, bringing the last decade's total to almost three dozen. One explanation for the lack of coup research is the absence of a temporally and spatially comprehensive dataset to test theories. Also absent is a discussion of what makes coups distinct from other forms of anti-regime activity. This article seeks to remedy these problems. The authors present a new dataset on coups from 1950 to 2010. They begin by explaining their theoretical definition and coding procedures. Next, they examine general trends in the data across time and space. The authors conclude by explaining why scholars studying a variety of topics, including civil wars, regime stability, and democratization, would benefit by paying closer attention to coups.
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