Military spending as a coup-proofing strategy: opening the ‘black box’ for Spain (1850-1915)

Oriol Sabaté Domingo, Sergio Espuelas, Alfonso Herranz-Loncán

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


Armies have recurrently intervened in politics by leading (or giving support to) coups d’état. Several authors suggest that civilian governments have used military spending to overcome armies’ grievances and avoid their insubordination. However, recent quantitative analyses do not reach conclusive results when exploring the impact of total military expenditure on the frequency and the success of coups d’état. We argue that total military spending might not be a good indicator of governments’ effort to gain the loyalty of the army, as it may conceal relevant changes in the composition of the military budget. This paper aims to open the military spending ‘black box’. While total military spending does not seem to have any relationship with the frequency of coups, payments to officers (along with other coup-proofing strategies) appears to be associated to a lower frequency of coups in 1850-1915 Spain.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec

Publication series

NameSTANCE Working Papers Series

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science


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