Our research has developed tools to forecast irregular leadership changes, which include coups. Using some of the tools and similar data, we’ve now created a 2017 forecast for the risk of coups for 161 countries.
We use a small number of statistical models to create separate forecasts for the risk of a successful coup, like in Thailand in 2014, or failed coup attempt, like in Turkey in 2016. Then we combine them to get a single forecast for the risk of a coup attempt for each country ... High-risk cases all have markers for instability, however. For example, Burundi has been in crisis since May 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza sought and obtained a third term.
Thailand has been under martial law, with strong restrictions on civil liberties, since the 2014 coup. The country approved a new constitution in 2016 and scheduled elections for 2017 — but, as some researchers point out, elections often increase the risk of further coup attempts.