Today’s news that Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Muhammad Morsi has been ousted by the military was pretty shocking, especially considering how comparatively rare coups are in this day and age.
University of Kentucky political scientists Jonathan Powell and Clayton Thyne compiled a comprehensive database of coup attempts and successes in a recent paper.
Back in the 60s, coups were a pretty common occurrence, with nearly 15 attempts at the peak. In 2010, the last year of the dataset, there were 5. The past few years have seen similar numbers.
Also notable – there are less coups, but they’re much more likely to be successful. Here’s their chart:
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