A REVOLUTION (from the Latin _revolutio_, "a turn around") is a
fundamental change in political power or organizational structures
that takes place in a relatively short period of time when the
population rises up in revolt against the current authorities.
* Complete change from one constitution to another * Modification of an existing constitution.
Revolutions have occurred through human history and vary widely in terms of methods, duration, and motivating ideology . Their results include major changes in culture, economy, and socio -political institutions .
Scholarly debates about what does and does not constitute a revolution center on several issues. Early studies of revolutions primarily analyzed events in European history from a psychological perspective, but more modern examinations include global events and incorporate perspectives from several social sciences, including sociology and political science . Several generations of scholarly thought on revolutions have generated many competing theories and contributed much to the current understanding of this complex phenomenon.
* 1 Etymology * 2 Types * 3 Political and socioeconomic revolutions
* 4 See also
* 4.1 Lists of revolutions
* 5 Bibliography * 6 References * 7 External links
The word _"revolucion"_ is known in French from the 13th century, and "revolution" in English by the late fourteenth century, with regards to the revolving motion of celestial bodies. "Revolution" in the sense of representing abrupt change in a social order is attested by at least 1450. Political usage of the term had been well established by 1688 in the description of the replacement of James II with William III . This incident was termed the _" Glorious Revolution "_.
Watt steam engine in
There are many different typologies of revolutions in social science and literature. For example, classical scholar Alexis de Tocqueville differentiated between political revolutions , sudden and violent revolutions that seek not only to establish a new political system but to transform an entire society, and slow but sweeping transformations of the entire society that take several generations to bring about (such as changes in religion). One of several different Marxist typologies divides revolutions into pre-capitalist, early bourgeois, bourgeois, bourgeois-democratic, early proletarian, and socialist revolutions.
Other types of revolution, created for other typologies, include the
social revolutions ; proletarian or communist revolutions (inspired by
the ideas of
Marxism that aims to replace capitalism with
The term _revolution_ has also been used to denote great changes outside the political sphere. Such revolutions are usually recognized as having transformed in society, culture, philosophy, and technology much more than political systems ; they are often known as social revolutions . Some can be global, while others are limited to single countries. One of the classic examples of the usage of the word _revolution_ in such context is the Industrial Revolution , or the Commercial Revolution . Note that such revolutions also fit the "slow revolution" definition of Tocqueville. A similar example is the Digital Revolution .
POLITICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC REVOLUTIONS
Perhaps most often, the word "revolution" is employed to denote a change in social and political institutions. Jeff Goodwin gives two definitions of a revolution. First, a broad one, including
any and all instances in which a state or a political regime is overthrown and thereby transformed by a popular movement in an irregular, extraconstitutional and/or violent fashion.
Second, a narrow one, in which
revolutions entail not only mass mobilization and regime change , but also more or less rapid and fundamental social, economic and/or cultural change, during or soon after the struggle for state power.
an effort to transform the political institutions and the
justifications for political authority in society, accompanied by
formal or informal mass mobilization and non-institutionalized actions
that undermine authorities. The storming of the Bastille , 14
July 1789 during the
French Revolution .
Political and socioeconomic revolutions have been studied in many
social sciences , particularly sociology , political sciences and
history . Among the leading scholars in that area have been or are
Crane Brinton , Charles Brockett , Farideh Farhi , John Foran , John
Mason Hart , Samuel Huntington ,
Scholars of revolutions, like
Second generation theorists sought to develop detailed theories of why and when revolutions arise, grounded in more complex social behavior theories. They can be divided into three major approaches: psychological, sociological and political.
The works of Ted Robert Gurr , Ivo K. Feierbrand , Rosalind L. Feierbrand , James A. Geschwender , David C. Schwartz , and Denton E. Morrison fall into the first category. They followed theories of cognitive psychology and frustration-aggression theory and saw the cause of revolution in the state of mind of the masses, and while they varied in their approach as to what exactly caused the people to revolt (e.g., modernization, recession, or discrimination), they agreed that the primary cause for revolution was the widespread frustration with socio-political situation.
The second group, composed of academics such as Chalmers Johnson , Neil Smelser , Bob Jessop , Mark Hart , Edward A. Tiryakian , and Mark Hagopian , followed in the footsteps of Talcott Parsons and the structural-functionalist theory in sociology; they saw society as a system in equilibrium between various resources, demands and subsystems (political, cultural, etc.). As in the psychological school, they differed in their definitions of what causes disequilibrium, but agreed that it is a state of a severe disequilibrium that is responsible for revolutions.
Finally, the third group, which included writers such as Charles Tilly , Samuel P. Huntington , Peter Ammann , and Arthur L. Stinchcombe followed the path of political sciences and looked at pluralist theory and interest group conflict theory . Those theories see events as outcomes of a power struggle between competing interest groups . In such a model, revolutions happen when two or more groups cannot come to terms within a normal decision making process traditional for a given political system , and simultaneously have enough resources to employ force in pursuing their goals.
The second generation theorists saw the development of the revolutions as a two-step process; first, some change results in the present situation being different from the past; second, the new situation creates an opportunity for a revolution to occur. In that situation, an event that in the past would not be sufficient to cause a revolution (e.g., a war, a riot, a bad harvest), now is sufficient; however, if authorities are aware of the danger, they can still prevent a revolution through reform or repression.
Many such early studies of revolutions tended to concentrate on four
classic cases: famous and uncontroversial examples that fit virtually
all definitions of revolutions, such as the Glorious Revolution
French Revolution (1789–1799), the
Russian Revolution of
1917 , and the Chinese
In time, scholars began to analyze hundreds of other events as revolutions (see List of revolutions and rebellions ), and differences in definitions and approaches gave rise to new definitions and explanations. The theories of the second generation have been criticized for their limited geographical scope, difficulty in empirical verification, as well as that while they may explain some particular revolutions, they did not explain why revolutions did not occur in other societies in very similar situations.
The criticism of the second generation led to the rise of a third
generation of theories, with writers such as
Theda Skocpol ,
Barrington Moore , Jeffrey Paige , and others expanding on the old
Marxist class conflict approach, turning their attention to rural
agrarian-state conflicts, state conflicts with autonomous elites, and
the impact of interstate economic and military competition on domestic
political change Particularly Skocpol's _States and Social Revolutions
_ became one of the most widely recognized works of the third
generation; Skocpol defined revolution as "rapid, basic
transformations of society's state and class structures accompanied
and in part carried through by class-based revolts from below",
attributing revolutions to a conjunction of multiple conflicts
involving state, elites and the lower classes. The fall of the
From the late 1980s a new body of scholarly work began questioning
the dominance of the third generation's theories. The old theories
were also dealt a significant blow by new revolutionary events that
could not be easily explain by them. The Iranian and Nicaraguan
Revolutions of 1979, the 1986
People Power Revolution in the
Defining revolutions as mostly European violent state versus people and class struggles conflicts was no longer sufficient. The study of revolutions thus evolved in three directions, firstly, some researchers were applying previous or updated structuralist theories of revolutions to events beyond the previously analyzed, mostly European conflicts. Secondly, scholars called for greater attention to conscious agency in the form of ideology and culture in shaping revolutionary mobilization and objectives. Third, analysts of both revolutions and social movements realized that those phenomena have much in common, and a new 'fourth generation' literature on contentious politics has developed that attempts to combine insights from the study of social movements and revolutions in hopes of understanding both phenomena.
Further, social science research on revolution, primarily work in political science, has begun to move beyond individual or comparative case studies towards large-N empirical studies assessing the causes and implications of revolution. Initial studies generally rely on the Polity Project’s data on democratization . Such analyses, like those by Enterline, Maoz , and Mansfield and Snyder, identify revolutions based on regime changes indicated by a change in the country’s score on Polity’s autocracy to democracy scale. More recently, scholars like Jeff Colgan have argued that Polity, which measures the degree of democratic or autocratic authority in a state's governing institutions based on the openness of executive recruitment, constraints on executive authority, and political competition, is inadequate because it measures democratization, not revolution, and fails to account for regimes which come to power by revolution but fail to change the structure of the state and society sufficiently to yield a notable difference in Polity score. Instead, Colgan offers a new data set on revolutionary leaders which identifies governments that "transform the existing social, political, and economic relationships of the state by overthrowing or rejecting the principal existing institutions of society." This most recent data set has been employed to make empirically-based contributions to the literature on revolution by identifying links between revolution and the likelihood of international disputes.
Revolutions have also been approached from anthropological perspectives. Drawing on Victor Turner’s writings on ritual and performance, Bjorn Thomassen has argued that revolutions can be understood as "liminal" moments: modern political revolutions very much resemble rituals and can therefore be studied within a process approach. This would imply not only a focus on political behavior "from below", but also to recognize moments where "high and low" are relativized, made irrelevant or subverted, and where the micro and macro levels fuse together in critical conjunctions.
While revolutions encompass events ranging from the relatively
peaceful revolutions that overthrew communist regimes to the violent
Islamic revolution in Afghanistan , they exclude _coups d'état_,
civil wars, revolts, and rebellions that make no effort to transform
institutions or the justification for authority (such as Józef
Piłsudski 's May Coup of 1926 or the
American Civil War ), as well as
peaceful transitions to democracy through institutional arrangements
such as plebiscites and free elections , as in
Age of Revolution
LISTS OF REVOLUTIONS
* _The International Encyclopedia of
* ^ Aristotle, _The Politics_ V. Accessed 2013/4/24
* ^ OED vol Q-R p. 617 1979 Sense III states a usage "Alteration,
change, mutation" from 1400 but lists it as "rare". "c. 1450, Lydg
1196 _Secrees_ of Elementys the Revoluciuons, Chaung of tymes and
Complexiouns." It's clear that the usage had been established by the
early 15th century but only came into common use in the late 17th
century in England.
* ^ onlineetymology.com
* ^ Richard Pipes, _A Concise
* ^ Enterline, A. J. (1998-12-01). "Regime Changes, Neighborhoods, and Interstate Conflict, 1816-1992". _Journal of Conflict Resolution_. 42 (6): 804–829. ISSN 0022-0027 . doi :10.1177/0022002798042006006 .
* ^ Maoz, Zeev (1996). _Domestic sources of global change_. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. * ^ Mansfield, Edward D.; Snyder, Jack (2007). _Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Dem