Why Coups Fail


Manage episode 354390062 series 1301233
By BBC and BBC Radio 4. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Recently, in both Europe and the United States, there have been serious attempts to overthrow elected governments by force. History is full of examples of coups d'etat succeeding, going all the way back to Ancient Rome. But these latest coup attempts failed. And they left a strange impression: of events that were part-horrific, part-absurd. In this programme, the novelist and classicist Natalie Haynes takes three examples of power grabs from Ancient Rome - one by the military, one by senators, and one conducted by stealth - and uses them to try to make sense of recent events in France, Germany and America. With the help of leading scholars of the dark art of the coup, she probes why these assaults on power flopped, and what all this tells us about where power now lies. And she asks where the subtler threats to democracy are lurking, against which we now need to be on guard. Contributors include: Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Alexander Clarkson, Rory Cormac. Producer: Phil Tinline

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