Honduras - In the aftermath of the coup d’état : A case study on the development of the regime five years after the coup occurred

University essay from Södertörns högskola/Institutionen för samhällsvetenskaper


In 2009, Honduras was affected by a military coup, where the former president Manuel Zelaya was deposed. The coup was supported by the National Congress and the Supreme Court, with the arguments that the action was a necessary act for defending and maintaining the democracy in the country. It is therefore interesting to see what type of regime that has emerged afterwards.

The study is analysed by Robert Dahl´s theory about polyarchy and Joakim Ekman´s theory about hybrid regimes since Honduras shows tendencies towards both types of regimes in the present state. The study has three different perspectives regarding the empirical data to obtain a comprehensive picture as possible of what kind of regime that Honduras is considered to be today. The material consists of the national constitution to get a glimpse of the formal aspects of the political shape in the country as well as reports provided by international organizations to get the view from the outside world but the primary material is from interviews with people determined important by the positions in the Honduran civil society.

The results display that Honduras has significant democratic elements; free elections and a constitution that recognizes the basic liberties, which according to Dahl meets up with the criteria of a democratic polyarchy. However, the lack of accountability for government institutions, corruption and violations against freedom of speech - where the most affected groups are journalists, human right defenders and indigenous people, indicates that Honduras have more similarities to that what Joakim Ekman refers to as a hybrid regime. 

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