Debating Revolutions / Edition 1

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Throughout history, and especially in this century, revolutions have played a central role in human history. Yet, as both the Iranian revolution of 1978-79 and the revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe made clear, revolutions are rarely predictable nor attributable to a single cause.

Debating Revolutions brings together some of our best social and political thinkers to address two central questions of revolution: Can they be predicted? And what are their causes? In the debating style of Contention, the award-winning journal from which the essays are culled, the contributors—among them Charles Tilly, Jack A. Goldstone, Edward Berenson, Said Amir Arjomand, and Daniel Chirot—focus on the Iranian, Eastern European, and French revolutions, and on the theoretical and comparative aspects of revolutionary study. Unlike most anthologies, Debating Revolutions has a format that enables scholars to engage one another in discussion, thus resolving many disputes and addressing dilemmas, rather than merely outlining differences.

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Editorial Reviews

Brings together contemporary essays from the journal Contention, on the causes and prediction of revolutions. Contributors discuss the Iranian, Eastern European, and French revolutions, and the theoretical and comparative aspects of revolutionary study, and respond to each other's views in debate style. Topics include the social interpretation of the French Revolution, demographic cycles and structural analysis in the world system, and global implications of the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814746578
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,017,859
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Author of numerous books, including the acclaimed Roots of Revolution, Nikki R. Keddie is Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles and editor of the award- winning journal Contention.

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Table of Contents

Can Revolutions Be Predicted; Can Their Causes Be Understood? 3
Why Revolutions Are Better Understood Than Predicted: The Essential Role of Preference Falsification: Comment on Keddie 27
Response to Kuran 36
Predicting Revolutions: Why We Could (and Should) Have Foreseen the Revolutions of 1989-1991 in the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe 39
Response to Goldstone 65
Reply to Keddie 77
The Social Interpretation of the French Revolution 85
Revolutionizing Theory/Theorizing Revolutions: State, Culture, and Society in Recent Works on Revolution 112
The Bourgeois Gentilshommes of Revolutionary Theory 136
Plea for an Alternative View of Revolution 142
Bringing Culture Back In and Other Caveats: A Critique of Jack Goldstone's Recent Essays on Revolution 155
Analyzing Revolutions and Rebellions: A Reply to the Critics 178
The World Is Round and Wavy: Demographic Cycles and Structural Analysis in the World System 200
What Was Socialism and Why Did It Fall? 221
Not the Juice But the Juicer: On No-Longer Existing Socialism and Lemonade 244
After Socialism, What? The Global Implications of the Revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe 254
A Singular Collapse: The Soviet Union, Market Pressure and Inter-State Competition 275
The Islamic Revolution that Overthrew the Soviet State 296
Contributors 315
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