is the forcible or coerced replacement of one government regime
with another. Use of the term dates to at least 1925.
Regime change may replace all or part of the state's
most critical leadership system, administrative apparatus, or bureaucracy
. Regime change may occur through domestic processes, such as revolution
, or reconstruction of government following state failure
or civil war
It can also be imposed on a country by foreign actors through invasion, overt
or covert interventions
, or coercive diplomacy
In addition to replacing one government with another, regime change may entail the construction of new institutions, the restoration of old institutions, and the promotion of new ideologies
The transition from one political regime to another, especially through concerted political or military action, as was done in World War II
to Italy, Germany, and Japan (also known as the Axis Powers
In addition to the above uses, the term 'regime change' can also be used in a more general sense, particularly in academic work, to refer to a change in political institutions or laws that affect the nature of the system as a whole. For example, the end of the Bretton Woods system
was a regime change in the international system, as was the repeal of the National Mandatory Speed Limit
in the United States. Regime changes are often viewed as ideal opportunities for natural experiments
by social scientists
Foreign-imposed regime change
Foreign-imposed regime change is the deposing of a regime by a foreign state, which can be achieved through covert means or by direct military action. Interstate war can also culminate into a foreign-imposed regime change for the losers, as occurred for the Axis Powers
in 1945. Foreign-imposed regime change is sometimes used by states as a foreign policy tool.
According to a dataset by Alexander Downes, 120 leaders have been successfully removed through foreign-imposed regime change between 1816 and 2011.
Studies by Alexander Downes, Lindsey O'Rourke and Jonathan Monten indicate that foreign-imposed regime change seldom reduces the likelihood of civil war,
violent removal of the newly imposed leader,
and the probability of conflict between the intervening state and its adversaries,
as well as does not increase the likelihood of democratization
(unless regime change comes with pro-democratic institutional changes in countries with favorable conditions for democracy).
The strategic impulse to forcibly oust antagonistic or non-compliant regimes overlooks two key facts. First, the act of overthrowing a foreign government sometimes causes its military to disintegrate, sending thousands of armed men into the countryside where they often wage an insurgency against the intervener. Second, externally-imposed leaders face a domestic audience in addition to an external one, and the two typically want different things. These divergent preferences place imposed leaders in a quandary: taking actions that please one invariably alienates the other. Regime change thus drives a wedge between external patrons and their domestic protégés or between protégés and their people.
Research by Nigel Lo, Barry Hashimoto, and Dan Reiter
has contrasting findings, as they find that interstate "peace following wars last longer when the war ends in foreign-imposed regime change."
However, research by Reiter and Goran Peic finds that foreign-imposed regime change can raise the probability of civil war.
- ^ "Regime change effort denied". Los Angeles Times. 1 Aug 1925. p. 8. Cited in Oxford English Dictionary s.v. regime.
- ^ Hale, Henry E. (2013-05-10). "Regime Change Cascades: What We Have Learned from the 1848 Revolutions to the 2011 Arab Uprisings". Annual Review of Political Science. 16 (1): 331–353. doi:10.1146/annurev-polisci-032211-212204. ISSN 1094-2939.
- ^ a b c d e f g Downes, Alexander B. (2021). Catastrophic Success: Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Goes Wrong. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-1-5017-6115-7.
- ^ Levin, Dov; Lutmar, Carmela (2020-04-30). "Violent Regime Change: Causes and Consequences". Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.1954. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
- ^ Margaret Heffernan (March 9, 2006). "Dealing with Regime Change at the Office". Fast Company. Archived from the original on March 6, 2008. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
- ^ Washington Post 20 Feb. 1987.
- ^ Peic, Goran (July 2011). "Foreign-Imposed Regime Change, State Power and Civil War Onset, 1920-2004". British Journal of Political Science. 41 (3): 453–475. doi:10.1017/s0007123410000426. S2CID 154222973 – via JSTOR.
- ^ Levin, Dov H. (2019-01-01). "Partisan electoral interventions by the great powers: Introducing the PEIG Dataset". Conflict Management and Peace Science. 36 (1): 88–106. doi:10.1177/0738894216661190. ISSN 0738-8942. S2CID 157114479.
- ^ O’Rourke, Lindsey A. (2019-11-29). "The Strategic Logic of Covert Regime Change: US-Backed Regime Change Campaigns during the Cold War". Security Studies. 0: 92–127. doi:10.1080/09636412.2020.1693620. ISSN 0963-6412. S2CID 213588712.
- ^ Levin, Dov H. (2016-06-01). "When the Great Power Gets a Vote: The Effects of Great Power Electoral Interventions on Election Results". International Studies Quarterly. 60 (2): 189–202. doi:10.1093/isq/sqv016. ISSN 0020-8833.
- ^ Downes, Alexander B.; O'Rourke, Lindsey A. (2016). "You Can't Always Get What You Want: Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Seldom Improves Interstate Relations". International Security. 41 (2): 43–89. doi:10.1162/ISEC_a_00256. ISSN 0162-2889.
- ^ Downes, Alexander B.; Monten, Jonathan (2013). "Forced to Be Free? Why Foreign-Imposed Regime Change Rarely Leads to Democratization". International Security. 37 (4): 90–131. ISSN 0162-2889.
- ^ Lo, Nigel; Hashimoto, Barry; Reiter, Dan (2008). "Ensuring Peace: Foreign-Imposed Regime Change and Postwar Peace Duration, 1914–2001". International Organization. 62 (4): 717–736. doi:10.1017/S0020818308080259. ISSN 1531-5088.
- ^ Peic, Goran; Reiter, Dan (2011). "Foreign-Imposed Regime Change, State Power and Civil War Onset, 1920–2004". British Journal of Political Science. 41 (3): 453–475. doi:10.1017/S0007123410000426. ISSN 1469-2112.
Last edited on 6 April 2021, at 21:16
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0
unless otherwise noted.