JimBowie1958, would you mind telling me what you find funny about my having cited the findings of extreme bounds analysis (EBA) of coup d'etat determinants as the refutation to the OP-er's assertion? EBA is precisely the sort of analysis that addresses the question of "what matters and what doesn't matter all that much" in situations having many causes and one wants to figure out which of them alone or in concert with others is material to effecting a given outcome. ("Everything" matters, but each thing may or may not matter enough on its own to make a difference.) Indeed, in economics and other social sciences, EBA is a huge boon to overcoming the dilemmas of uncertainty, dissimilarity among variables (parm heterogeneity), and exceptional situations/outcomes. (A comparatively simple example of how EBA works and the proof for it is here: Reasonable Extreme Bounds Analysis.) What does EBA tell us about coups d'etat? It tells us that no single parameter alone -- including the one the OP mentioned -- is critical enough to reliably predict that a coup will result when that variable is present. That's not funny, it's a good thing. It tells us that, among other things, a nation's stability isn't going to "go to hell in a handbasket" at the "drop of a hat."