Coup d'état


August 13, 2022

A coup d'état (from French coup d'état) is a rapid, unconstitutional seizure of power by a state, usually carried out by a small group of people who replace only the top political leaders. It is also considered a coup d'état if a head of state issues a decree that goes beyond the person's constitutional powers. A coup d'état differs from revolution, which is a fundamental social change. It takes place with its own dynamics and in an accelerating process with wider participation and entails an upheaval in which the political system changes radically.


Edward Luttwak (1970). Coup d'état : a practical handbook. Oslo: Gyldendal. orig. Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook. A revised edition was published in 2016

External links

(en) Coups d'état – category of images, video or audio on Commons About a coup d'état, from the Great Norwegian Lexicon "Sound clip: Quisling's coup d'état on radio", from NRK School