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Launching Military Coup Is Justified

  • Date Submitted: 09/25/2014 02:54 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43.9 
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This House believes launching a military coup against a democratic government can be justified
Coups are a regular occurrence around the world. The most recent happened in May 2014 when the Thai army overthrew the government of Yingluck Shinawatra. From 1945 to 2006 there were 261 coups of all descriptions.1 A coup can be defined simply as “a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a governmment”.2 This can mean that the seizure of power is by the people after a protest as in Ukraine but much more often this is done by someone with military or police forces at their disposal. It is such cases which will be looked at here.
This debate will only be looking at democratic governments as the dynamics of a coup against an autocratic government are totally different. Not only is the moral element much more blurred but it has been argued by Thyne and Powell that a coup against such an autocratic government actually speeds the process of democratization as the incoming government needs legitimacy; something a democratic election can provide.3
This debate is written shortly after the 2014 coup in Thailand but it is not specifically about that coup this because it has not fully played out at the time of writing so it is difficult to know precisely what the intentions of the coup leaders are. Secondly it is quite a hard coup to justify because it is clearly not a neutral action; one side had been calling for the coup to take place. And Thailand has had a long line of coups making it doubtful that the action is simply to fix a broken political system or that it will be a success if it is tried.
Note: It is unlikely that in any individual coup that all the prop points will be the case at once so please remember the context is vital if arguing about a specific coup. The opposition arguments are much more likely to all be true. For a more specific debate see the Debatabase debate 'This House believes the Egyptian army was right to depose Morsi'


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