Even Generals Need Friends: How Domestic and International Reactions to Coups Influence Regime Survival

Clayton Thyne, Jonathan Powell, Sarah Parrott, Emily VanMeter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Signals from domestic and international actors have been shown to influence the likelihood of coups. Coups remain difficult to predict and consequently leave policy makers in a reactive stance, but little systematic work assesses how these reactions influence long-term outcomes. We examine how reactions from domestic and international actors influence the duration of coup-born regimes, arguing that negative reactions will shorten leadership duration. We further probe these relationships by considering how signaling consistency, Cold War dynamics, and precoup relationships condition the influence of reactions on leadership duration. Tests use events data to capture domestic and international reactions and newly coded information on leadership to capture leader duration. Results indicate that international responses have a profound influence on leadership tenure, especially those from strong actors. We find tentative support that state reactions have the strongest effect during the Cold War, while international organizations matter the most afterward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1406-1432
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Conflict Resolution
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
A previous version of this article was presented at the 2014 meeting of the International Studies Association. The authors would like to thank Tobias Böhmelt, Rebecca Schiel, anonymous reviewers, and the editorial staff for their comments on earlier drafts of this article. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, The Author(s) 2017.


  • democratization
  • economic sanctions
  • international organization
  • political survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (all)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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