Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: August 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9780857021083 | Print ISBN: 9781412919760 | Online ISBN: 9780857021083| Publisher:SAGE Publications LtdAbout this handbook
Chapter 17: Revolution
Jack A. Goldstone
Revolution Revolutions are rapid changes in the institutions of government, carried out by non-institutional means, and usually with the support of popular groups mobilized for demonstrations, local revolts, guerilla warfare, civil war, mass strikes, or other revolutionary actions. Until the 1960s, revolutions were viewed as major turning points in history, ending traditional systems of government and ushering in modern political organization. However, the proliferation of revolutionary movements and of rapid shifts in governments throughout the twentieth century has led to a more open and ambiguous view. Revolutions – even ‘great social revolutions’ such as the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 – are now seen as bringing a mixture of change and continuity. Revolutions include many different kinds of social change, including anti-colonial independence revolts, anti-dictatorial revolutions, and anti-communist revolutions. These brought political and social changes of varying degrees, some of which were lasting and some ...