Anti-populist coups d’état in the twenty-first century:Reasons, Dynamics and Consequences


There is a burgeoning literature on how to deal with populism in advanced liberal democracies, which puts a strong emphasis on legalist and pluralist methods. There is also a new and expanding literature that looks at the consequences of coups d’état for democracies by employing large-N data sets. These two recent literatures, however, do not speak to one another, based on the underlying assumption that coups against populists were a distinctly twentieth-century Latin American phenomenon. Yet the cases of Venezuela in 2002, Thailand in 2006 and Turkey in 2016 show that anti-populist coups have also occurred in the twenty-first century. Focussing on these cases, the article enquires about the extent to which military coups succeed against populists. The main finding is that although anti-populist coups may initially take over the government, populism survives in the long run. Thus, anti-populist coups fail in their own terms and they do not succeed in eradicating populism. In fact, in the aftermath of a coup, populism gains further legitimacy against what it calls repressive elites, while possibilities for democratisation are further eroded. This is because populists tap into existing socio-cultural divides and politically mobilise the hitherto underrepresented sectors in their societies that endure military interventions.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Politics, History and International Relations
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Aston Centre for Europe
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Third World Quarterly. Toygar Sinan Baykan, Yaprak Gürsoy & Pierre Ostiguy (2021) Anti-populist coups d’état in the twenty-first century: reasons, dynamics and consequences, Third World Quarterly. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Thailand,Turkey,Venezuela,civil–military relations,populism,Development
Publication ISSN: 0143-6597
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 07:16
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2020 12:45
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Related URLs: https://www.tan ... nalCode=ctwq20& (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-01-27
Published Online Date: 2021-01-27
Accepted Date: 2020-12-21
Authors: Baykan, Toygar Sinan
Gursoy, Yaprak (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-8909-6819)
Ostiguy, Pierre


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