Female, Focus Group Discussant, Accra, Ghana.

Key findings 1

Ephemeral support for coups is a cry for democratic renewal … but they must deliver for the people.
For too long, some states have ruled behind a façade of democracy, while deploying innately exclusionary models of governance. This has been marked by ongoing inequality, government under-performance, and elite self-enrichment. The findings show that tolerance for these trends is waning across the continent. When citizens have been actively disappointed with the delivery of democratically elected governments, they are more likely to support non-democratic styles of governance ¬– including military rule. This is particularly true for contexts where democracy is perceived to have been abused, or where levels of corruption and insecurity are perceived to be high. Citizens want democratic renewal. The majority of participants surveyed indicated a clear preference for democratic governance, characterized, in particular, by free and fair elections, gender equality and the protection of civil rights.


To build coup resilience, democratic renewal and a recalibration of trust between states and citizens is critical.

To build coup resilience, governments and partners have to prioritize, invest in, and recommit to a sincere deepening of democracy and inclusive development progress.

Reasons for support to non-democratic forms of government

In what circumstances do you mean a non-democratic form of government can be preferable?

  • UCG
  • DTS

Preference for democracy or other kind of government

Which of these statements is closest to your own opinion?

  • UCG
  • DTS

Statistical analysis of the data found that men were twice as likely as women to say that a non-democratic government can be preferable in some circumstances.

Characteristics of Democracy

  • UCG
  • DTS