Military Defection

Policy brief

Dahl, Marianne (2016) Military Defection, PRIO Policy Brief, 18. Oslo: PRIO.

Why do members of the security forces sometimes fight tenaciously for the incumbent while other times defect? When large parts of the security forces defect and side with the protesters, the campaign is much more likely to be successful. This policy brief shows that security force defection is more likely to take place in regimes where the incumbent applied a broad set of coup-proofing strategies as a means of protection from the security forces. This provides insights into the puzzling observation that regimes that appear as extremely stable can rapidly collapse in the face of non-violent uprisings.

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