The pattern of events is familiar. A government is overthrown, unexpectedly, and the power vacuum filled by a coalition of interests, temporarily united by their opposition to the previous regime, divided by competition for power and conflicting objectives. The weakening of central authority furthermore provides an opportunity for widespread popular protest. Mounting social tension and widespread disorder result in a crisis of confidence, the collapse of economic activity and growing ‘social fear’. The search for stability promotes a willingness to accept a ‘strong’ government able to employ military power, together with an authoritarian ‘leader’. The crisis apparently over, pressure again gradually builds up for liberalization and a more inclusive polity.
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