Reframing the Guardianship Dilemma: How the Military’s Dual Disloyalty Options Imperil Dictators

  title={Reframing the Guardianship Dilemma: How the Military’s Dual Disloyalty Options Imperil Dictators},
  author={Jack Paine},
  journal={American Political Science Review},
  • Jack Paine
  • Published 3 March 2022
  • Political Science
  • American Political Science Review
Dictators confront a guardianship dilemma: military agents are needed to defeat mass outsider movements, but these agents can overthrow the ruler from within. In existing theories, rulers prioritize coup-proofing measures unless they anticipate strong outsider threats. Then dictators prioritize military competence. I reframe the guardianship dilemma around the central idea that militaries can choose between dual disloyalty options. In addition to staging a coup, militaries can defect by not… 


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