Militaries' roles in political regimes: Introducing the PRM data set

Aurel Croissant, Tanja Eschenauer, Jil Kamerling

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12 Scopus citations


Have militaries become tired of interfering in politics? The declining number of military regimes and military coups implies a decrease in the influence of armed forces on political regimes. Yet, case and area studies underline that militaries still exert considerable influence on politics all over the world. This research note addresses this apparent misfit between quantitative data and qualitative studies by introducing a new measurement of armed forces' roles in political regimes. Based on previous research, we develop a systematic measure to differentiate between two dimensions of military interference in political regimes: The military ruler and the military supporter indices. Our Political Roles of the Military (PRM) Data Set contains information on 120 democratic and autocratic regimes and a total of 138 regime spells for the period 1999-2012. The data set offers a whole range of indicators that will enable scholars to carry out causal-analytical studies on different forms and degrees of military influence on policy outcomes, economic performance, or the likelihood of regimes successfully facing and surviving political crises. Empirically, our data illustrate that militaries remain powerful actors in many regimes but tend to use more discreet and concealed channels to influence politics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-414
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Political Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 European Consortium for Political Research.


  • civil-military relations
  • military influence
  • military ruler
  • military supporter


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