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Nueva publicación - The concept of coup d’état under stifling stress: Legal theory’s political-science–based response (Franz Xavier Barrios-Suvelza)

Noticias de 09.02.2023

Barrios-Suvelza, Franz Xavier. The concept of coup d’état under stifling stress: Legal theory’s political-science–based response. International Journal of Constitutional Law, moac117.

https://doi.org/10.1093/icon/moac117

Abstract

The resignation of the Bolivian President Morales in November 2019 has sparked an international polemic over whether a coup d’état took place. This article concludes that the assumption of a coup d’état would be misleading. The problems faced by the Bolivian case stem not only from the lax manner in which scholars have gathered facts, but also from the fact that the concept of coup may have reached its limits. Building on a legal approach, this article proposes a new conceptual strategy that overcomes both the under-theorization of the (partial) legal order variable used to define a coup and the underrating of this variable. Introducing this variable as the target during an anomalous seizure of executive power means moving from a threefold to a fourfold conceptual scheme of definition (victim, perpetrator, tactic, and target). A coup must not only be illegal but must also break the partial legal order. As a result, the notion of regime restoration is proposed for cases in which the partial legal order underlying the regime has already been broken by the overthrown ruler well prior to the day of their anomalous exit.

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