Examines military interventions in Greece, Turkey, Thailand, and Egypt, and the military’s role in authoritarian and democratic regimes


Look Inside


Why do the armed forces sometimes intervene in politics via short-lived coups d’état, at other times establish or support authoritarian regimes, or in some cases come under the democratic control of civilians? To find answers, Yaprak Gürsoy examines four episodes of authoritarianism, six periods of democracy, and ten short-lived coups in Greece and Turkey, and then applies her resultant theory to four more recent military interventions in Thailand and Egypt.

Based on more than 150 interviews with Greek and Turkish elites, Gürsoy offers a detailed analysis of both countries from the interwar period to recent regime crises. She argues that officers, politicians, and businesspeople prefer democracy, authoritarianism, or short-lived coups depending on the degree of threat they perceive to their interests from each other and the lower classes. The power of elites relative to the opposition, determined in part by the coalitions they establish with each other, affects the success of military interventions and the consolidation of regimes.

With historical and theoretical depth, Between Military Rule and Democracy will interest students of regime change and civil-military relations in Greece, Turkey, Thailand, and Egypt, as well as in countries facing similar challenges to democratization.


Yaprak Gürsoy is Lecturer of Politics and International Relations at Aston University.

Between Military Rule and Democracy is a pioneering study in the sense that there exists no comparative-historical study of the same level of historical depth and theoretical sophistication which tries to uncover the complex trajectories of democratization and authoritarian reversals in the Southeastern periphery of Europe.”
—Ziya Öniş, Koç University


Between Military Rule and Democracy goes beyond many of the other treatments of militaries in politics by making a well-supported argument concerning factors that influence the actions of militaries in various situations . . . It thus makes an interesting contribution to the literature on democratization and authoritarianism as well as providing very well-documented case studies of the actions of militaries in two countries where they have played an important role over time.”
—Sharon Wolchik, George Washington University


Watch: Yaprak Gursoy book launch with the South East European Studies group at Oxford Link | 5/24/2017
Watch: Interview with Yaprak Gursoy with the South East European Studies group at Oxford Link | 4/19/2017