Popular Protest and Elite Coordination in a Coup d'etat

71 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2012 Last revised: 24 Apr 2014

See all articles by Brett Casper

Brett Casper

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Scott Tyson

University of Rochester

Date Written: July 17, 2013

Abstract

Elites face a daunting coordination problem when contemplating a coup. Citizens, who desire political reform, face a similar coordination problem when contemplating protest. Since elites and citizens interact with the same leadership, these coordination problems are invariably linked. We develop a model which exploits this link to isolate an informational mechanism connecting popular protests and coups. Protests aggregate citizen information and provide elites with a public signal which helps them coordinate in a coup. We show that elites "overreact'' to protest as a consequence of its publicity, and provide a microfounded explanation as to why elites use protests to facilitate coordination. Our model also suggests that protests in countries with media freedom better facilitate elite coordination. To test this, we examine how media freedom affects the relationship between protests and coups. The empirical analysis shows the effect of protests on coups is exacerbated in countries where media is free.

Keywords: Coups, Protests, Coordination, Public Information

Suggested Citation

Casper, Brett and Tyson, Scott, Popular Protest and Elite Coordination in a Coup d'etat (July 17, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2105409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2105409

Brett Casper

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

715 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
United States

Scott Tyson (Contact Author)

University of Rochester ( email )

Harkness Hall
333 Hutchinson Rd
Rochester, NY 14627
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
211
Abstract Views
1,339
rank
143,483
PlumX Metrics