whereas the vast majority of successful coups before 1991 installed the leader durably in power, after that the picture reverses, with the majority of coups leading to competitive elections. …In the post-Cold War era those countries that are most dependent on Western aid have been the first to embrace competitive elections after the coup.
Our theory also sheds light on the pronounced decline in the number of coups since 1991. While the coup d’etat has been and still is the single most important factor leading to the downfall of democratic government, our findings indicate that the new generation of coups has been less nefarious for democracy than their historical predecessors.
A new paper from Nikolay Marinov and Hein Goemans.