Powell, Jonathan. "Trading Coups for Civil War: The Strategic Logic of Tolerating Rebellion." African Security Review 23(4):329-338.
This paper investigates civil conflict as a product of the survival strategies of African leaders. Specifically, the paper offers a theory of risk substitution that predicts coup-fearing leaders will undermine the military effectiveness of the state when making effort to extend their own tenure. While“coup-proofing” practices have often been noted as contributors to political survival, considerably less attention has considered the influence of these strategies on other forms of conflict. Utilizing data from a number of cross-national datasets, the analyses show that having a higher number of “coup-proofing”counterweights significantly worsens a state’s security prospects, specifically in regards to civil conflict. A brief consideration of multiple episodes of conflict further suggests that in addition to coup-proofing undermining the counterinsurgency capacity of the state, some leaders are simply indifferent to--or can even potentially benefit from--the existence of an insurgency.