eCite Digital Repository

Mutinies, coups and military interventionism: Papua New Guinea and South-East Asia in comparison


Mietzner, M and Farrelly, N, Mutinies, coups and military interventionism: Papua New Guinea and South-East Asia in comparison, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 67, (3) pp. 342-356. ISSN 1035-7718 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Australian Institute of International Affairs

DOI: doi:10.1080/10357718.2013.788128


Scholars of civil–military relations have long been puzzled by the fact that despite a series of mutinies, Papua New Guinea (PNG) has never seen a full-blown military takeover. Indeed, when PNG became independent in the early 1970s, some veteran PNG watchers had predicted that the country was likely to follow in the footsteps of many coup-prone African countries. In this article, the authors highlight the reasons for the surprising absence of coups in PNG by comparing the country to three South-East Asian nations that have experienced coups. By contrasting PNG with Indonesia, Burma and Thailand, the authors identify five key factors that have prevented coups in the former and facilitated them in the latter: first, the role that the military played in the struggle for independence or modern statehood; second, the size of the armed forces; third, the military's organisational capacity; fourth, geographical conditions and the military's command structure; and finally, the general relationship between civilian and military elites.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:coups, Papua New Guinea, South-East Asia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International political economy (excl. international trade)
UTAS Author:Farrelly, N (Professor Nicholas Farrelly)
ID Code:145390
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-07-20
Last Modified:2021-09-08

Repository Staff Only: item control page