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Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival$
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Abel Escribà-Folch and Joseph Wright

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746997

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198746997.001.0001

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Military Intervention and Regime Change

Military Intervention and Regime Change

(p.211) 8 Military Intervention and Regime Change
Foreign Pressure and the Politics of Autocratic Survival

Abel Escribà-Folch

Joseph Wright

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how hostile military interventions by both democracies and autocracies influence autocratic stability. The chapter begins by providing historical evidence on military interventions in dictatorships, and introduces the debate surrounding the legal and moral dimensions of military interventions. Three channels through which military interventions can destabilize autocracies are identified: i) direct overthrow of a regime; ii) military weakening of the target regime that contributes to a victory of domestic rebel forces; and iii) the fostering of dissent among elites and citizens after a defeat or costly conflict. The evidence reveals that hostile military interventions are associated with an increased risk of transition to new dictatorship in personalist regimes but intervention raises the likelihood of democratic transition in military regimes. The chapter then uses a series of case studies to delineate the causal mechanism in each positive case, linking military intervention to regime change.

Keywords:   military intervention, democracy restoration, rebellion, accountability, defeat

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