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p. 11. What is a revolution?locked

  • Jack A. Goldstone


‘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.

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