Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Clayton L. Thyne


Although there has been a great deal of scholarly work that explores the various determinants of coups, their effects have received considerably less attention, especially in the realm of international cooperation. Even less attention has been paid to the consequences of post-coup signals sent to the new regimes that staged these coups from the international community. This dissertation investigates how both the presence of leaders who seized power via coup and how the international community reacts to such a power grab affects their behavior, specifically in areas where there is either an obligation to comply with pre-existing international legal agreements or an opportunity to voluntarily engage in behavior that is in line with international norms and priorities. In this dissertation, a theoretical framework that suggests that political survival is the coup-born leader’s highest priority and so we should only expect to see cooperation and compliance from coup-born regimes if they perceive an increased chance of survival through cooperation.

Using a series of regression models, the effects of coup-born regimes and the international community’s post-coup signals on three policy areas that range from legally binding to fully voluntary are investigated. First, the implications of coup-born regimes on the likelihood of the termination of military alliances via violations of their treaty provisions are considered; the empirical results show that the presence of a coup-born regime in at least one member of a bilateral treaty make it more vulnerable to violations. Next, the effects of coup-born regimes and the international signals they receive in the post-coup period on their use of repression is explored; the analysis in this chapter finds that while coup-born regimes are generally more repressive than other regimes, negative signals from the international community lead coup-born regimes to better respect personal integrity rights than their counterparts which received positive international signals. Finally, the effects of coup-born regimes and the international community’s response on states’ willingness to contribute troops to UN-led peacekeeping missions is explored. Consistent with findings that suggest vulnerable regimes may utilize peacekeeping operations to coup-proof, the empirical findings show that coup-born regimes tend to contribute more troops to peacekeeping operations and that receiving negative signals from the international community following coups lead to larger contributions, compared to other coup-born regimes.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)