The Fading of the Anti-Coup Norm

Issue Date January 2017
Volume 28
Issue 1
Page Numbers 144-56
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In the years since the early 1990s, tolerance within the international community for coups d’état has waned, and a new “anti-coup norm”  has become institutionalized in international rulebooks and laws. New standards have emerged that require international actors to help ensure that ousted leaders are returned to power and that coup leaders are excluded from future politics. Despite significant progress in developing these new normative standards, the initial promise has not been fully met, and the anti-coup norm remains limited. This article traces the rise of the anti-coup norm and identifies the causes and implications of its mixed fortunes.