CSRC Occasional Paper 8

Guarding the State or Protecting the Economy? the economic factors of Pakistan's Military Coups
Author(s) : Amina Ibrahim
Date : May 2009

Many scholars have debated the causes of the coups d'etat in Pakistan since the mid-twentieth century. A recent set of theories have linked the risk of military coups d'etat in a country with the state of its economy. This paper applies these economic theories to the case of Pakistan, which has experienced five coups since its independence but has received very little empirical attention. This paper tests four economic variables - GDP, income per capita, defence spending and export values - against the incidences of coups in Pakistan and finds that low growth rates of these variables are related to the incidence of coups d'etat in Pakistan.

The author recently completed a Masters degree at the Development Studies Institute at LSE and is currently a Special Guest on the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement at the Brookings Institution.