What’s the Likelihood of a Coup in Eritrea?

An article in the International Business Times reports that on Monday morning there was something that looked like a coup attempt at the Ministry of Information in the capital city of Asmara. The attempt was small and short lived, but noteworthy in a country characterized by extreme isolation and suppression.

The article also quotes Ronin Institute Research Scholar Jay Ulfelder, who builds mathematical models aimed at predicting the likelihood of successful coups in various countries:

“As for what shapes the forecast for Eritrea in particular, it winds up toward the middle of the global pack because it’s a mixed bag,” says Ulfelder.

“On the one hand, it’s a poor country that’s internationally isolated, both of which are associated with increased risk of coup attempts. On the other hand, it’s a very repressive dictatorship, and regimes like that are historically no more coup-prone than fully democratic ones, other things being equal. The regime’s success at quashing dissent is also reflected in the absence of any prior coup attempts, another thing that pulls Eritrea’s forecast down.”

You can find Jay’s 2013 forecast here, along with a discussion of the “high-risk” group of countries.

Please note that Jay the Nate Silver of international coups.

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