We analyze the role of the military as an independent interest group within the State, based on the two-player theoretical framework of Acemoglu and Robinson (Economic origins of dictatorship and democracy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2006); we innovate by introducing the military as a third player, a specialist in violence. In particular, we study the conditions under which a democratic regime can prevent a transition to an authoritarian regime via a military coup, when a coup requires the support of both the military and the elite sections of the civilian population. We carry out an historical case study of Pakistan to motivate and illustrate our argument, and show that Pakistan’s three coups since independence are associated with parameter shifts in our model.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Acemoglu D, Robinson JA (2006) Economic origins of dictatorship and democracy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Acemoglu D, Ticchi D, Vidigni A (2008) A theory of military dictatorships, IZA discussion paper no. 3392
Barzel Y (2002) A theory of the state: economic rights, legal rights, and the scope of the state. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Bates R, Greif A, Singh S (2002) Organizing violence. J Conflict Resolut 46(5): 599–628
Binmore K, Rubinstein A, Wolinsky A (1986) The Nash bargaining solution in economic modelling. Rand J Econ 17(2): 176–188
Fearon J (2006) Self enforcing democracy. Stanford University, Working paper
Greif A, Laitin DD (2004) A theory of endogenous institutional change. Am Polit Sci Rev 98(4): 633–652
Jalal A (1995) Democracy and authoritarianism in South Asia: a comparative and historical perspective. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Kukreja V (1991) Civil-military relations in South Asia: Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Sage Publications, Newbury Park
Kukreja V (2003) Contemporary Pakistan: political processes, conflicts and crises. Sage Publications, New Delhi
Londregan J, Vindigni A (2006) Voting as a credible threat. Princeton University, Working paper
North DC (1991) Institutions. J Econ Perspect 5(1): 97–112
Przeworski A (2003) States and markets: a primer in political economy. Cambridge University Press, New York
Skaperdas S (2006) Anarchy. In: Weingast BR, Wittman D (eds) Oxford handbook of political economy. Oxford University Press, Oxford
Stern RW (2001) Democracy and dictatorship in South Asia: dominant classes and political outcomes in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Praeger Publishers, Westport
Talbot I (1998) Pakistan: a modern history. St. Martin’s Press, New York
Ticchi D, Vidigni A (2003) Democracies and armies, unpublished. Department of Politics, Princeton University
Weingast BR (1997) The political foundations of democracy and the rule of law. Am Polit Sci Rev 91(2): 245–263
We thank Sami Alpanda, Adam Honig, the editor, and an anonymous referee for comments.
About this article
Cite this article
Bhave, A., Kingston, C. Military coups and the consequences of durable de facto power: the case of Pakistan. Econ Gov 11, 51–76 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10101-009-0068-9