MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

When War Helps Civil-military Relations: Prolonged Interstate Conflict and the Reduced Risk of Coups


Journal of Conflict Resolution

Published online on


Coups remain a widespread and consequential political phenomenon, but it remains unclear whether interstate conflict protects leaders from the risk of coups or increases this risk. We theorize that interstate conflict—especially when it is prolonged—should protect domestic regimes from military overthrow by foreclosing many of the key pathways by which elites plot and execute coups. We test this argument using event history modeling. The evidence provides support for our claim that coup risk declines in the presence of enduring interstate conflict. Just as important, we detect no evidence that war increases coup risk.