Collection: Politics and International Relations

 

One of the newest collections, the Politics and International Relations list comes with a truly diverse and international perspective and will grow significantly over the next few years. With over 130 books in the collection, series include: Bristol Studies in East Asian International Relations; Bristol Studies in International Theory; Gender, Sexuality and Global Politics; Spaces of Peace, Security and Development; Transnational Administration and Global Policy.
 

Politics and International Relations Collection

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The sixth and concluding chapter emphasizes the most important findings of the analysis, reflects upon their implications for the role of coups and illustrates their relevance for existing research and future studies. After briefly summarizing the empirical results on the analysis of the three research questions, the significance of these findings for the general role of ROs in the context of coups is discussed. In short, the chapter draws the conclusion that many ROs have successfully claimed a strong and influential role after coups. Yet central challenges, including inter-organizational differences, ambiguous and vague formulations in anti-coup provisions as well as an often opaque and not explicitly discussed mixture of democracy- and stability-related motives to respond to coups continue to impede a more consistent enforcement of the anti-coup norm. As such, ROs have a high potential to deter and combat coups but also face challenges. Finally, the chapter discusses practical and academic implications and points to avenues for future research, which could include analyses on the intra-organizational dynamics of the decision-making processes of ROs after coups and studies on inter-organizational coordination mechanisms.

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The fifth chapter addresses the question why ROs strive for differential post-coup solutions by conducting a comparative case study of four selected cases. First, details on the case selection and methods are provided before presenting the empirical findings. Following the principle of a diverse case design, cases with different post-coup solutions pursued by ROs were chosen. These include a power-sharing agreement (Madagascar in 2009), the formation of a new government through elections (Niger in 2010), the reinstatement of the ousted government (Burkina Faso in 2015) and the acceptance of the coup plotters as new state leaders (Zimbabwe in 2017). Case studies were conducted using inter alia materials and data from official RO statements, speeches, declarations and press interviews from diverse actors, reports by research institutes, NGOs and election observers, as well as newspaper coverage. In all four cases not only the question of whether a leader change was unequivocally identified as a coup, but also democracy- and stability-related factors were decisive in shaping the choice of post-coup solutions by ROs. The findings of the cases studies provide strong empirical support for the theoretical expectation that the choice of post-coup-solutions by ROs is strongly influenced by considerations related to democracy and stability.

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The fourth chapter examines the question why some coups are much more likely to evoke strong RO responses such as economic sanctions or military interventions, whereas others are only mildly criticized or evade negative reactions altogether. The results of the statistical analysis show that three groups of factors drive the strength of responses. First, the characteristics of the RO at hand, for instance its democracy level and its financial and military capacities, second, democracy-related aspects of the state affected by a coup and third considerations about domestic and regional stability. Further analyses indicate that irrespective of their composition ROs show noteworthy parallels in their weighing of the importance of these factors. However, there are also interesting and important differences between organizations and regions, with one remarkably exception being the EU. All essential findings are illustrated in a series of tables and graphs and their implications for the role of ROs in the context of coups are discussed in detail.

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The first chapter introduces the issue of coups and RO responses to them. The study builds upon the observation that ROs have started to frequently address coups since the 1990s. Yet the reactions and strategies shown by ROs are remarkably diverse and apparently contradictory. This raises important questions about the role of ROs after coups. How do ROs respond to coups? Which factors influence the strength of responses? What post-coup solutions do ROs pursue and why? After defining the central concepts of the analysis, an overview of existing approaches to study the role of ROs after coups is provided. The present book exceeds existing approaches and contributes to a better understanding of the complex role of ROs by arguing that the emergence of the anti-coup norm significantly changed the attitude of ROs towards coups. In line with the provisions of the norm, ROs generally oppose coups, condemning, criticizing and sanctioning them. Yet within the framework of the anti-coup norm, ROs weigh democracy- and stability- related aspects and adjust their responses accordingly. Subsequently, the research design, a mixed-methods approach, is sketched and the findings and contributions of the study are summarized. Finally, the plan of the book is described.

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The third chapter provides a comprehensive and detailed overview of the responses of all ROs to coup attempts in the last 30 years. First, a new dataset on RO responses to coups, including the coding procedures, the structure of the dataset and the variables is introduced. Subsequently, the most important trends in the data, including temporal developments and geographic as well as inter- and intra-organizational differences are mapped. The data show that over time the number of coups has declined, yet they continue to present a frequent phenomenon. At the same time, the number of RO responses to coups has strongly increased, pointing towards a considerably more active role of ROs after coups. RO responses cover a wide continuum of instruments, stretching from rhetorical concern and condemnation statements over diplomatic measures and economic sanctions to military options. Whereas some instruments have been used more frequently in recent years, there is no general trend towards the use of stronger responses over time. When zooming in to the diverse strategies and instruments to respond to coups in different continents and organizations, a high degree of heterogeneity and variation not only between, but also within organizations becomes apparent.

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Measures, Motives and Aims

Coups d’état continue to present one of the most extreme risks to democracy and stable governance worldwide. This book examines the unique role played by regional organisations (ROs) following the occurrence of a coup d’état.

The book analyses which factors influence the strength of reactions demonstrated by ROs and explores which different post-coup solutions ROs pursue. It argues that, when confronted with a coup, ROs take both basic democratic standards and regional stability into account before forming their responses.

Using a mixed methods approach, the book concludes that ROs respond more decisively to a coup based on how detrimental it will be for the state of democracy in a country, and the higher its risk of destabilizing the region.

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Chapter 2 provides the theoretical framework. First, the development of the anti-coup norm and its impact on ROs is outlined. After the Cold War, the international attitude towards coup plotters changed and many ROs established firm anti-coup provisions. The chapter illustrates how ROs respond to coups (research question 1). Faced with a coup, ROs can choose between rhetorical, diplomatic, economic and military means, forming a continuum of increasing strength. Next, the factors which influence the choice of instruments of diverging strength are examined (research question 2). Three groups of factors are considered: characteristics of the RO, democracy- and stability-related factors. Finally, the chapter theorizes which post-coup solutions ROs pursue and why they do so (research question 3). RO responses to coups are not ends in themselves but means to achieve specific post-coup solutions, such as the reinstatement of ousted incumbents, the formation of new governments through elections, power-sharing agreements or the acceptance of coup plotters as new rulers. Four democracy- and stability-related factors influence the choice of a particular solution: how unequivocally a leader change is identified as a coup, the democratic record of the ousted incumbent, the prospects of democratization under the new leadership and the domestic power constellation.

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This chapter centres on the Labour Party’s 18 years in opposition between 1979 and 1997. It argues that the failure to achieve electoral success caused the party to rethink its approach and, as in previous periods of opposition, rethink its understandings of economic policy and socialism. It explores the tensions within the party, which first moved leftwards before embarking on a further period of revisionism. It concludes by looking at the ‘Third Way’ and the creation of ‘New Labour’. It explores how a need to demonstrate economic credibility and redefine traditional commitments was critical to this, and how understandings of socialism and equality were central to this process.

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This final chapter returns to the four themes established in Chapter 1: tensions between pragmatic and ideological responses to events; Labour’s understanding of socialism; distinctions between revolutionary and parliamentary socialism; and the relationship between the party and the trade unions. It demonstrates how crises have shaped the party’s economic ideology and challenged contemporary understandings of socialism and the means of achieving it. It traces the different strands of Labour’s socialism and argues that the party’s commitment to socialism has drawn from an ethical rather than economic or Marxist lineage. It highlights some differences between the experiences of the party in government and opposition but rejects simple classifications of Old and New Labour, arguing that throughout its history Labour’s economic policy has been guided more by pragmatic concerns than ideology.

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This chapter centres on Labour’s period of opposition from 2010. Unlike other chapters, it ends prior to the resolution of Labour’s electability crisis (defined here as Labour returning to government). It explores how the party assessed the New Labour project and interpreted its legacy following election defeats in 2010 and 2015. It explores how changing methods of electing Labour leaders tested the relationships between the party and its constituent elements. The tensions within the party were also highlighted during the Brexit referendum and negotiation period, which raised questions about the nature of parliamentary democracy. Labour had been a pro-EU party from the mid-1980s, but many Labour MPs now represented seats with a majority of Leave voters. Having lost economic credibility following the 2007/08 global financial crisis, Labour risked being presented as anti-democratic in the wake of the referendum and Brexit negotiations.

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