Show Summary Details

p. 11. What is a revolution?locked

  • Jack A. Goldstone

Abstract

‘What is a revolution?’ illustrates how revolutions differ from other kinds of disorders and social change. Peasant revolts, grain riots, strikes, social movements, coups, and civil wars can all arise in the course of revolutions and are important constituent elements of revolutionary struggles. Revolutions are distinct from these because they combine all the elements of forcible overthrow of the government, mass mobilization, the pursuit of a vision of social justice, and the creation of new political institutions. It is this combination that leads us to conceive of revolutions as the process by which visionary leaders draw on the power of the masses to forcibly bring into existence a new political order.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.