Social Revolutions in the Modern World

Social Revolutions in the Modern World

3.48 (31 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this collection of essays, Theda Skocpol, author of the award-winning book States and Social Revolutions (1979), updates her arguments about social revolutions. How are we to understand recent revolutionary upheavals in countries across the globe? Why have social revolutions happened in some countries, but not in others that seem similar? Skocpol shows how she and other scholars have used ideas about states and societies to identify the particular types of regimes that are susceptible to the growth of revolutionary movements and vulnerable to transfers of state power to revolutionary challengers. Skocpol engages in thoughtful dialogue with critics, and she suggests how culture and ideology can properly be incorporated into historical and comparative studies. She also vigorously defends the value of an institutionalist, comparative and historical approach against recent challenges from Marxists, rational choice theorists, and culturally oriented interpreters of particular revolutions.show more

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Review quote

'... provides an extremely useful companion to her thinking ... Skocpol writes with intelligence, grace and lucidity.' International Affairsshow more

Table of contents

Introduction; Part I. Doing Macroscopic Social Science: 1. A critical review of Barrington Moore's social origins of dictatorship and democracy; 2. Wallerstein's world capitalist system: a theoretical and historical critique; 3. The uses of comparative history in macrohistorical research; Part II. Making Sense of the Great Revolutions: 4. Explaining social revolutions: in quest of a social-structural approach; 5. Revolutions and the world-historical development of capitalism; 6. France, Russia, and China: a structural analysis of social revolutions; Part III. A Dialogue about Culture and Ideology in Revolutions: 7. Ideologies and revolutions: reflections on the French case, byWilliam H. Sewell, Jr; 8. Cultural idioms and political ideologies in the revolutionary reconstruction of state power; Part IV. From Classical to Contemporary social revolutions: 9. What makes peasants revolutionary?; 10. Rentier state and Shi'a Islam in the Iranian revolution; 11. Explaining revolutions in the contemporary Third World; 12. Social revolutions and mass military mobilisation; Conclusion: reflections on recent scholarship about social revolutions and how to study them.show more

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31 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 16% (5)
4 29% (9)
3 45% (14)
2 6% (2)
1 3% (1)
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