By Jimmy D. Kandeh (auth.)
Coups from less than represents the 1st significant attempt at learning coups performed by way of the lumpen part or the subalterns of the defense force of African states. No earlier research has tried to check coup making via these within the backside ranks of the army as a special trend of intervention in African reports. Kandeh examines this development as largely symptomatic of nation failure, specially the lack of political leaders to institutionalize energy, remove mass poverty and advertise socioeconomic development.
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Additional resources for Coups from Below: Armed Subalterns and State Power in West Africa
33 But “to oppose the upper classes,” as Eric Nordlinger cautioned, “is not necessarily to support the lower classes, especially . . ”34 Given the distance between the militariat and other subordinate strata, it is not surprising that the class issues that often instigate coups by this substratum are obscured at the first taste of power. A related class dimension of subaltern coups involves the delusions of grandeur and mobility aspirations of armed lumpens. The capture of state 24 ● Coups from Below power serves the same purpose for leadership elements of the militariat as it does for competing fractions of the political class.
There . . was suspicion that some members of the intelligence department of the Obote regime, stripped of power and disgraced following the coup, used the firearms they had acquired from the previous regime for new purposes. 31 Under similar circumstances, the 1992 ouster of the APC government in Sierra Leone sparked a dramatic upsurge in sobel activities among rank and file soldiers. Although much of the sobel action was for personal gain, there were APC loyalists among sobels who sought, through their actions, to destabilize the state and subvert the efforts of the NPRC leadership to restore peace and security.
Senior officers act to routinely defend and protect the interests of the political class as a whole. They do this, however, not by promoting the relative autonomy of the army from political processes but by subordinating the army to the predatory agenda of political incumbents. This is a role not unlike that performed by armed subalterns as instruments of oppression. But whereas senior officers are usually motivated by class interests and ethnic loyalties in defending political incumbents, armed subalterns, by contrast, are driven less by class solidarity than by ethnic loyalties and patronage ties.
Coups from Below: Armed Subalterns and State Power in West Africa by Jimmy D. Kandeh (auth.)