Chapter

Horror Vacui

Ozan O. Varol

in The Democratic Coup d'État

Published in print October 2017 | ISBN: 9780190626013
Published online August 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190626051 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780190626013.003.0023
Horror Vacui

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Nature, Aristotle said, abhors a vacuum. He argued that a vacuum, once formed, would be immediately filled by the dense material surrounding it. Aristotle’s insights into vacuums in the physical world also apply to civil-military relations. Where a vacuum exists in domestic politics because the political parties are weak, unstable, or underdeveloped, the dense material that is the military may fill the void by staging an intervention into domestic politics. But when, as in the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, the civilian leaders themselves hold densely concentrated authority—in other words, are powerful, popular, and credible—their attempts to keep the military at bay are far more likely to succeed. Without a vacuum there is no void for the military to fill.

Keywords: 2016 Turkish coup attempt; 1960 coup in Turkey; Turkish military; Adnan Menderes; 1961 Turkish Constitution; 1971 coup in Turkey; 1980 coup in Turkey; Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; Justice and Development Party

Chapter.  3831 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics ; Politics

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