Revolutionary Politics / Edition 1

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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.

Kamrava adds valuable insights into prevalent notions and theories concerning revolutions. There are, the author argues, several conditions necessary for the appearance and success of revolutionary movements. They include a weak state structure, a mobilizable society, and specific groups whose aim it is to overthrow the political system. Once the leaders of the revolution have been determined, they try to institutionalize their powers, in both the post-revolutionary state and society.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275944445
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/4/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Lexile: 1710L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

MEHRAN KAMRAVA holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from King's College, Cambridge University and is currently assistant professor of international studies at Rhodes College.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Causes and Processes 5
State Breakdown 11
Legitimacy Crisis, Structural Collapse 13
Authoritarianism and Revolution 15
The Economic Roots of Revolution 16
International Factors 21
Incomplete Political Modernization 24
Revolutionary Mass Mobilization 26
Spontaneous Versus Planned Revolutions 27
The Peasant as Guerrilla 29
Social Polarization and Spontaneous Revolution 32
The Informality of Spontaneous Revolution Leadership 34
Ideology and Revolution 35
Non-Political Factors 37
Political Causes of Mass Mobilization 44
Conclusion 46
3 Post-Revolutionary States 57
Leadership 60
Planned Versus Spontaneous Revolutions and Post-Revolutionary Leadership 60
Brinton: The Rise of the Extremists 61
Skocpol: Class and Structure 62
Skocpol Amended: Process and Culture 64
Consolidation by Organization 67
Institutionalization 71
Legitimacy and the Post-Revolutionary State 75
Revolution and the Politics of Inclusion 77
Revolution and National Identity 79
Revolution and Purges 80
The Party and the State 81
Factionalism in the Post-Revolutionary State 83
The Difficulties of Transition 86
Economy 87
Land Reform and Nationalization 88
Great Expectations, Declining Abilities 89
Conclusion 93
4 The Post-Revolutionary Polity 101
Post-Revolutionary Societies 102
Value Conflict 104
The Repression of Non-Conformists 104
Social Polarization 105
Divisions in the Post-Revolutionary Society 107
The Continuance of Revolutionary Mobilization 109
Political Culture 111
Post-Revolutionary Political Change 113
Revolution and Popular Perception 116
Dissent and Opposition 117
Post-Revolution Opposition 118
Conclusion 121
The Old Elite Flees 123
The Psychological Ramifications of Revolution 125
5 Conclusion 131
The Revolutionary Project 132
"Political Development" and Political Evolution 134
Democratic Rhetoric, Dictorial Results 138
Bibliography 143
Index 157
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