More on Defining Coups
Jonathan M. Powell of Nazarbayev University has some thoughts on Egypt’s Coup which includes a quick survey of political science literature on the subject of coups. He includes this rather straightforward definition that is pretty much in alignment with the one I offered earlier today:
Different scholars might be interested in different research questions, and those questions might cause definitions to slightly vary. What we see as a general trend is that an executive is removed (or an attempt is made to remove them) through unconstitutional means by other members of the state apparatus (government, military, security services, etc). Politicians might attempt to frame events as coups or non-coups to meet political ends, as we will undoubtedly see with the Egyptian case.
He includes a table is his post from a recent paper that he co-authored which reviews definitions of coups in the literature.
h/t: Clayton Tyne at The Monkey Cage