The Varieties of Coups D'Crossed D sign©tat: Introducing the Colpus Dataset

John J. Chin, David B. Carter, Joseph G. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Interest in authoritarian politics and democratic breakdown has fueled a revival in scholarship on coups d'état. However, this research is held back by the fact that no global coup dataset captures theoretically salient information on the identity of coup-makers, their goals, and the relationship between the coup leaders and the ruling regime. We introduce the Colpus dataset, new global data on coup types and characteristics in the post-World War II era. These data introduce a typology of coups, measurement strategy, and coding procedures to differentiate between whether coups seek to preserve existing ruling coalitions (leader reshuffling coups) or significantly alter ruling coalitions (regime change coups). We show trends in coup types across time and space. Finally, we demonstrate that poverty - an established determinant of coups - only predicts regime change coups. Colpus data will be of use to scholars of political instability and conflict, regime change, leadership accountability, the political economy of democracy and dictatorship, and related topics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1040-1051
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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