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Ozan Varol | The Democratic Coup d’État

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

The term coup d'état--French for stroke of the state--brings to mind coups staged by power-hungry generals who overthrow democracies and create dictatorships. In his book, The Democratic Coup d'État, Ozan Varol advances a simple, yet controversial, argument that made headlines around the globe: Sometimes, a democracy is established through a military coup. 


This talk will address several questions: How can an event as undemocratic as a military coup lead to democracy? Why would imposing generals—armed with tanks and guns and all—voluntarily surrender power to civilian politicians? What distinguishes militaries that help build democracies from those that destroy them? 


Pulling from current events, comparative constitutional law, and military sociology, Ozan Varol looks at examples from around the globe (and specifically from his native Turkey) and presents a challenging and thought-provoking discussion of how military interventions in politics can sometimes promote democracy—and why they often do not.

Ozan Varol is currently a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School. He has written numerous award-winning articles that are taught in colleges and graduate schools. His academic work has focused on challenging conventional wisdom on constitutional design and democratic revolutions. He has been featured in various domestic and foreign media, including BBC, TIME, CNN, Washington Post, Slate, and Foreign Policy. He has advised the U.S. Department of Defense, given lectures at foreign constitutional courts, and presented at businesses, non-profits, and government institutions, including the U.S. Department of State. 

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Ozan Varol | The Democratic Coup d’État

$10 WorldOregon members

$15 General

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Event Information

Date and Time:
Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm
World Affairs Council of Oregon
1200 SW Park Avenue Hatfield Room, Third Floor
Portland, OR 97205
United States
Phone: 503-306-5252

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