Revolutionary Politics

Revolutionary Politics

Revolutionary Politics

Revolutionary Politics

Synopsis

This book offers a thematic analysis of the phenomenon of revolution. The twentieth century has been witness to a number of historic revolutions, beginning with the Mexican and the Russian revolutions at the turn of the century and leading up to the Iranian and Nicaragua revolutions in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite their fundamental differences, these and the revolutions before them are characterized by parallel developments and processes. The focus of this book is to discern those social and political dynamics that bring about revolutions, determine their nature and overall direction, and in turn facilitate the emergence and success of revolutionary leaders and their attempts at institutionalizing their newly-won powers.

Excerpt

This work examines the causes, processes, and outcomes of revolutions. The aim here is not to propose a new and previously unknown theoretical framework that explains revolutions in their totality. Rather, I have tried to postulate a broad, overall analytical framework within which the various facets of revolutions can be explained and examined. As a result, my focus here has been neither detailed historiography nor overt and singular reliance on one, specific theoretical approach to the study of revolutions or the broader disciplines of political science and sociology. I have, admittedly, liberally borrowed relevant concepts and approaches from various (and at times contradictory) schools of thought, intending all the while to construct a broad framework that is at the same time both theoretically consistent and yet allows for historical differences.

I would like to express my gratitude to a number of people who in various ways assisted me for this project. I am deeply grateful to John Dunn for instilling in me a deep curiosity about the causes and workings of revolutions, and, more importantly, for helping me formulate my thoughts on the subject during my studies in graduate school. I am also thankful to the students in my courses at Rhodes who were the first audience for much of this book. The greatest support and love came from my family, who, although in a different city, always acted as long distance cheerleaders and made the arduous task of writing the book much easier. Invaluable help from Michael Garret of Rhodes College Computer Center and Praeger's Meg Fergusson . . .

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