In 1989, from East Berlin to Budapest and Bucharest to Moscow, communism was falling. The walls were coming down and the world was being changed in ways that seemed entirely new. The conflict of ideas and ideals that began with the French Revolution of 1789 culminated in these revolutions, which raised the prospects of the "return to Europe" of East and Central European nations, the "restarting of their history," even, for some, the "end of history." What such assertions and aspirations meant, and what the larger events that inspired them mean-not just for the world of history and politics, but for our very understanding of that world-are the questions Krishan Kumar explores in 1989.
A well-known and widely respected scholar, Kumar places these revolutions of 1989 in the broadest framework of political and social thought, helping us see how certain ideas, traditions, and ideological developments influenced or accompanied these movements-and how they might continue to play out. Asking questions about some of the central dilemmas facing modern society in the new century, Kumar offers critical insight into how these questions might be answered and how political, social, and historical ideas and ideals can shape our destiny.
Sailing the tide of a tumultuous era of Atlantic revolutions, a remarkable group of African-born and African-descended individuals transformed themselves from slaves into active agents of their lives and times. Through prodigious archival research, Jane Landers radically alters our vision of the breadth and extent of the Age of Revolution, and our understanding of its actors.
Cuba’s patron saint, the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, also called Cachita, is a potent symbol of Cuban national identity. Jalane D. Schmidt shows how groups as diverse as Indians and African slaves, Spanish colonial officials, Cuban independence soldiers, Catholic authorities and laypeople, intellectuals, journalists and artists, practitioners of spiritism and Santería, activists, politicians, and revolutionaries each have constructed and disputed the meanings of the Virgin. Schmidt examines the occasions from 1936 to 2012 when the Virgin's beloved, original brown-skinned effigy was removed from her national shrine in the majority black- and mixed-race mountaintop village of El Cobre and brought into Cuba's cities. There, devotees venerated and followed Cachita's image through urban streets, amassing at large-scale public ceremonies in her honor that promoted competing claims about Cuban religion, race, and political ideology. Schmidt compares these religious rituals to other contemporaneous Cuban street events, including carnival, protests, and revolutionary rallies, where organizers stage performances of contested definitions of Cubanness. Schmidt provides a comprehensive treatment of Cuban religions, history, and culture, interpreted through the prism of Cachita.
Catarino Garza’s Revolution on the Texas-Mexico Border rescues an understudied episode from the footnotes of history. On September 15, 1891, Garza, a Mexican journalist and political activist, led a band of Mexican rebels out of South Texas and across the Rio Grande, declaring a revolution against Mexico’s dictator, Porfirio Díaz. Made up of a broad cross-border alliance of ranchers, merchants, peasants, and disgruntled military men, Garza’s revolution was the largest and longest lasting threat to the Díaz regime up to that point. After two years of sporadic fighting, the combined efforts of the U.S. and Mexican armies, Texas Rangers, and local police finally succeeded in crushing the rebellion. Garza went into exile and was killed in Panama in 1895.
Elliott Young provides the first full-length analysis of the revolt and its significance, arguing that Garza’s rebellion is an important and telling chapter in the formation of the border between Mexico and the United States and in the histories of both countries. Throughout the nineteenth century, the borderlands were a relatively coherent region. Young analyzes archival materials, newspapers, travel accounts, and autobiographies from both countries to show that Garza’s revolution was more than just an effort to overthrow Díaz. It was part of the long struggle of borderlands people to maintain their autonomy in the face of two powerful and encroaching nation-states and of Mexicans in particular to protect themselves from being economically and socially displaced by Anglo Americans. By critically examining the different perspectives of military officers, journalists, diplomats, and the Garzistas themselves, Young exposes how nationalism and its preeminent symbol, the border, were manufactured and resisted along the Rio Grande.
Latin America experienced an epochal cycle of revolutionary upheavals and insurgencies during the twentieth century, from the Mexican Revolution of 1910 through the mobilizations and terror in Central America, the Southern Cone, and the Andes during the 1970s and 1980s. In his introduction to A Century of Revolution, Greg Grandin argues that the dynamics of political violence and terror in Latin America are so recognizable in their enforcement of domination, their generation and maintenance of social exclusion, and their propulsion of historical change, that historians have tended to take them for granted, leaving unexamined important questions regarding their form and meaning. The essays in this groundbreaking collection take up these questions, providing a sociologically and historically nuanced view of the ideological hardening and accelerated polarization that marked Latin America’s twentieth century. Attentive to the interplay among overlapping local, regional, national, and international fields of power, the contributors focus on the dialectical relations between revolutionary and counterrevolutionary processes and their unfolding in the context of U.S. hemispheric and global hegemony. Through their fine-grained analyses of events in Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru, they suggest a framework for interpreting the experiential nature of political violence while also analyzing its historical causes and consequences. In so doing, they set a new agenda for the study of revolutionary change and political violence in twentieth-century Latin America.
Contributors Michelle Chase Jeffrey L. Gould Greg Grandin Lillian Guerra Forrest Hylton Gilbert M. Joseph Friedrich Katz Thomas Miller Klubock Neil Larsen Arno J. Mayer Carlota McAllister Jocelyn Olcott Gerardo Rénique Corey Robin Peter Winn
The Yucatán Peninsula has one of the longest, most multifaceted histories in the Americas. With the arrival of Europeans, native Maya with long and successful cultural and diplomatic traditions of their own had to grapple with outside forces attempting to impose new templates of life and politics on them. Conflict and Carnage in Yucatán provides a rigorously researched study of the vexed and bloody period of 1855 to 1876, during which successive national governments implemented, replaced, and restored liberal policies.
Synthesizing an extensive and heterogeneous range of sources, Douglas W. Richmond covers three tumultuous political upheavals of this period. First, Mexico’s fledgling republic attempted to impose a liberal ideology at odds with traditional Maya culture on Yucatán; then, the French-backed regime of Emperor Maximilian began to reform Yucatán; and, finally, the republican forces of Benito Juárez restored the liberal hegemony. Many issues spurred resistance to these liberal governments. Instillation of free trade policies, the suppression of civil rights, and persecution of the Roman Catholic Church mobilized white opposition to liberal governors. The Mayas fought the seizure of their communal properties. A long-standing desire for regional autonomy united virtually all Yucatecans. Richmond advances the thought-provoking argument that Yucatán both fared better under Maximilian’s Second Empire than under the liberal republic and would have thrived more had the Second Empire not collapsed.
The most violent and bloody manifestation of these broad conflicts was the Caste War (Guerra de Castas), the longest sustained peasant revolt in Latin American history. Where other scholars have advocated the simplistic position that the war was a Maya uprising designed to reestablish a mythical past civilization, Richmond’s sophisticated recounting of political developments from 1855 to 1876 restores nuance and complexity to this pivotal time in Yucatecan history.
Richmond’s Conflict and Carnage in Yucatán is a welcome addition to scholarship about Mexico and Yucatán as well as about state consolidation, empire, and regionalism.
The Cuban Counterrevolution
Jesús Arboleya Ohio University Press, 2000 Library of Congress F1787.A6613 2000 | Dewey Decimal 303.4827291073
For forty years the Cuban Revolution has been at the forefront of American public opinion, yet few are knowledgeable about the history of its enemies and the responsibility of the U.S. government in organizing and sustaining the Cuban counterrevolution. Available in English for the first time, this outstanding study by Cuban historian and former diplomat Jesús Arboleya traces the evolution of the counterrevolutionary movement from its beginnings before 1959, to its transformation into the Cuban-American groups that today dominate U.S. policy toward Cuba. Arboleya also analyzes the role played by Cuban immigrants to the U.S. and the perspectives for improvement in relations between the two nations as a result of the generational and social changes that have been occurring in the Cuban-American community.
Cuba’s Revolutionary World
Jonathan C. Brown Harvard University Press, 2017 Library of Congress JC491.B79 2017 | Dewey Decimal 303.6409809045
As Castro’s democratic reform movement veered off course, a revolution that seemed to signal the death knell of dictatorship in Latin America brought about its tragic opposite. Jonathan C. Brown examines in forensic detail how the turmoil that rocked a small Caribbean nation in the 1950s became one of the century’s most transformative events.
In the history of international relations, few events command as much attention as revolution and war. Over the centuries, revolutionary transformations have produced some of the most ruinous and bloody wars. Nevertheless, the breakdown of peace in time of revolution is poorly understood. Patrick Conge offers a groundbreaking study of the relationship between war and revolution.
How can we best understand the effect of revolutionary transformations on the politics of war and peace? Conge argues that it is only by bringing in, first, the organizational capacity of revolutionary regimes to extract resources and convert them into military strength and, second, the power of transformative ideas to transcend national boundaries and undermine the ability of opposing regimes to compromise that we are best able to understand the effect of revolution on the origins and persistence of war. By incorporating such key elements, this book provides a new, more comprehensive explanation of the relationship between revolution, war, and peace.
Conditions that lead to and sustain wars in general are identified and placed in the light of revolutionary transformations. Once the argument is presented, historical case studies are used to test its plausibility. Conge demonstrates the importance of the effect of revolutionary organization and ideas on the outcome of conflicts.
Political scientists, historians, sociologists, and the general reader interested in the politics of war and peace in revolutionary times are given new perspectives on the relationship between revolution and war as well as on the implications of political organization for military power and the process of consolidation of new regimes.
Patrick J. Conge is Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Arkansas.
Geography and Revolution
Edited by David N. Livingstone and Charles W. J. Withers University of Chicago Press, 2005 Library of Congress G70.G4419 2005 | Dewey Decimal 910.01
A term with myriad associations, revolution is commonly understood in its intellectual, historical, and sociopolitical contexts. Until now, almost no attention has been paid to revolution and questions of geography. Geography and Revolution examines the ways that place and space matter in a variety of revolutionary situations.
David N. Livingstone and Charles W. J. Withers assemble a set of essays that are themselves revolutionary in uncovering not only the geography of revolutions but the role of geography in revolutions. Here, scientific revolutions—Copernican, Newtonian, and Darwinian—ordinarily thought of as placeless, are revealed to be rooted in specific sites and spaces. Technical revolutions—the advent of print, time-keeping, and photography—emerge as inventions that transformed the world's order without homogenizing it. Political revolutions—in France, England, Germany, and the United States—are notable for their debates on the nature of political institutions and national identity.
Gathering insight from geographers, historians, and historians of science, Geography and Revolution is an invitation to take the where as seriously as the who and the when in examining the nature, shape, and location of revolutions.
The century from 1750 to 1850 was a period of dramatic transformations in world history, fostering several types of revolutionary change beyond the political landscape. Independence movements in Europe, the Americas, and other parts of the world were catalysts for radical economic, social, and cultural reform. And it was during this age of revolutions—an era of rapidly expanding scientific investigation—that profound changes in scientific knowledge and practice also took place.
In this volume, an esteemed group of international historians examines key elements of science in societies across Spanish America, Europe, West Africa, India, and Asia as they overlapped each other increasingly. Chapters focus on the range of participants in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century science, their concentrated effort in description and taxonomy, and advancements in techniques for sharing knowledge. Together, contributors highlight the role of scientific change and development in tightening global and imperial connections, encouraging a deeper conversation among historians of science and world historians and shedding new light on a pivotal moment in history for both fields.
The Glorious Revolution and the Continuity of Law explores the relationship between law and revolution. Revolt - armed or not - is often viewed as the overthrow of legitimate rulers. Historical experience, however, shows that revolutions are frequently accompanied by the invocation rather than the repudiation of law. No example is clearer than that of the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89. At that time the unpopular but lawful Catholic king, James II, lost his throne and was replaced by his Protestant son-in-law and daughter, William of Orange and Mary, with James's attempt to recapture the throne thwarted at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. The revolutionaries had to negotiate two contradictory but intensely held convictions. The first was that the essential role of law in defining and regulating the activity of the state must be maintained. The second was that constitutional arrangements to limit the unilateral authority of the monarch and preserve an indispensable role for the houses of parliament in public decision-making had to be established. In the circumstances of 1688-89, the revolutionaries could not be faithful to the second without betraying the first. Their attempts to reconcile these conflicting objectives involved the frequent employment of legal rhetoric to justify their actions. In so doing, they necessarily used the word "law" in different ways. It could denote the specific rules of positive law; it could simply express devotion to the large political and social values that underlay the legal system; or it could do something in between. In 1688-89 it meant all those things to different participants at different times. This study adds a new dimension to the literature of the Glorious Revolution by describing, analyzing and elaborating this central paradox: the revolutionaries tried to break the rules of the constitution and, at the same time, be true to them.
In the first edition of The Hovering Giant, Cole Blasier analyzed U.S. response to revolutions in Latin America from Madero in Mexico to Allende in Chile. He explained why U.S. leaders sponsored paramilitary units to overthrow revolutionary governments in Guatemala and Cuba and compromised their own differences with revolutionary governments in Mexico and Bolivia. The protection of private U.S. interests was part of the explanation, but Blasier gave greater emphasis to rivalry with Germany or the Soviet Union.
Now in this revised edition, Blasier also examines the responses of the Carter and Reagan administrations to the Grenadian and Nicaraguan revolutions and the revolt in El Salvador. He also brings up to date the interpretation of U.S.-Cuban relations.
Blasier stresses U.S. defense of its preeminent position in the Caribean Basin, as well as rivalry with the Soviet Union, to explain these later U.S. responses. Seemingly unaware of historical experience, Washington followed patterns in Central America and Grenada similar to earlier patterns in Guatemala, Cuba, and Chile even though the latter had adverse effects on U.S. security and economic interests.
The hot-air balloon, invented by the Montgolfier brothers in 1783, launched for the second time just days before the Treaty of Paris would end the American Revolutionary War. The ascent in Paris—a technological marvel witnessed by a diverse crowd that included Benjamin Franklin—highlighted celebrations of French military victory against Britain and ignited a balloon mania that swept across Europe at the end of the Enlightenment. This popular frenzy for balloon experiments, which attracted hundreds of thousands of spectators, fundamentally altered the once elite audience for science by bringing aristocrats and commoners together. The Imagined Empire explores how this material artifact, the flying machine, not only expanded the public for science and spectacle but also inspired utopian dreams of a republican monarchy that would obliterate social boundaries. The balloon, Mi Gyung Kim argues, was a people-machine, a cultural performance that unified and mobilized the people of France, who imagined an aerial empire that would bring glory to the French nation. This critical history of ballooning considers how a relatively simple mechanical gadget became an explosive cultural and political phenomenon on the eve of the French Revolution.
In the ten years since the initial publication of Insurgencies, Antonio Negri's reputation as one of the world's foremost political philosophers has grown dramatically. An invigorating appraisal of revolutionary thought, Insurgencies is both the precursor to and the historical basis for Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt's masterwork, Empire.
At the center of this book is the conflict between "constituent power," the democratic force of revolutionary innovation, and "constituted power," the fixed power of formal constitutions and central authority. This conflict, Negri argues, defines the drama of modern rebellions. Now with a foreword by Michael Hardt, Insurgencies leads to a new notion of how power and action must be understood if we are to achieve a democratic future.
A modern revolutionary's fresh approach to radical thought.
At a time when political paradigms are collapsing, and the death of Marxism and the Left is proclaimed, Insurgencies offers an intellectually invigorating and historically wide-ranging appraisal of the real legacy and promise of revolutionary thought and practice.
At the center of this book is the conflict between "constituent power," the democratic force of revolutionary innovation, and "constituted power," the fixed power of formal constitutions and central authority. This conflict, Antonio Negri argues, defines the drama of modern rebellions, from Machiavelli's Florence and Harrington's England to the American, French, and Russian revolutions. Insurgencies leads to a new notion of how power and action must be understood if we are to achieve a radically democratic future.
After living in exile in France for nearly fourteen years, Antonio Negri is currently serving a jail sentence in Italy, his home country, for his political activism in the 1970s. His conviction, which was based on the substance of his writings, led Michel Foucault to ask, "Isn't he in prison simply for being an intellectual?" Negri's works in English include The Savage Anomaly (1991) and, with Michael Hardt, Labor of Dionysus (1994).
Maurizia Boscagli is associate professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
A pioneering organ transplant surgeon narrates in gripping detail the revolutions that have transformed modern surgery, and the turmoil in medical education and health care reform as new capacities to prolong life and restore health run headlong into unsustainable costs. Tilney’s stage is the famous Boston teaching hospital, Brigham and Women's.
In Jihād in West Africa during the Age of Revolutions, a preeminent historian of Africa argues that scholars of the Americas and the Atlantic world have not given Africa its due consideration as part of either the Atlantic world or the age of revolutions. The book examines the jihād movement in the context of the age of revolutions—commonly associated with the American and French revolutions and the erosion of European imperialist powers—and shows how West Africa, too, experienced a period of profound political change in the late eighteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. Paul E. Lovejoy argues that West Africa was a vital actor in the Atlantic world and has wrongly been excluded from analyses of the period.
Among its chief contributions, the book reconceptualizes slavery. Lovejoy shows that during the decades in question, slavery expanded extensively not only in the southern United States, Cuba, and Brazil but also in the jihād states of West Africa. In particular, this expansion occurred in the Muslim states of the Sokoto Caliphate, Fuuta Jalon, and Fuuta Toro. At the same time, he offers new information on the role antislavery activity in West Africa played in the Atlantic slave trade and the African diaspora.
Finally, Jihād in West Africa during the Age of Revolutions provides unprecedented context for the political and cultural role of Islam in Africa—and of the concept of jihād in particular—from the eighteenth century into the present. Understanding that there is a long tradition of jihād in West Africa, Lovejoy argues, helps correct the current distortion in understanding the contemporary jihād movement in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Africa.
Lust for Liberty
Samuel Kline COHN Harvard University Press, 2006 Library of Congress HN373.C73 2006 | Dewey Decimal 303.640940902
Lust for Liberty challenges long-standing views of popular medieval revolts. Comparing rebellions in northern and southern Europe over two centuries, Samuel Cohn analyzes their causes and forms, their leadership, the role of women, and the suppression or success of these revolts.
Popular revolts were remarkably common--not the last resort of desperate people. Leaders were largely workers, artisans, and peasants. Over 90 percent of the uprisings pitted ordinary people against the state and were fought over political rights--regarding citizenship, governmental offices, the barriers of ancient hierarchies--rather than rents, food prices, or working conditions. After the Black Death, the connection of the word "liberty" with revolts increased fivefold, and its meaning became more closely tied with notions of equality instead of privilege.
The book offers a new interpretation of the Black Death and the increase of and change in popular revolt from the mid-1350s to the early fifteenth century. Instead of structural explanations based on economic, demographic, and political models, this book turns to the actors themselves--peasants, artisans, and bourgeois--finding that the plagues wrought a new urgency for social and political change and a new self- and class-confidence in the efficacy of collective action.
The Movement of World Revolution, originally published in 1959, explores many of the themes Dawson considered most important in his lifetime: the religious foundation of human culture, the central importance of education for the recovery of Christian humanism, the myth of progress, and the dangers of nationalism and secular ideologies.
Volume I begins with a generous selection of Native American materials, then spans the years from the establishment of the American colonies to about 1900, a world on the brink of World War I and the modern era. Part One focuses on poetry from the very beginnings through the end of the eighteenth century. The expansion and development of a newly forged nation engendered new kinds of poetry. Part Two includes works from the early nineteenth century through the time of the Civil War. The poems in Part Three reflect the many issues affecting a nation undergoing tumultuous change: the Civil War, immigration, urbanization, industrialization, and cultural diversification.
Such well-recognized names as Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, Phillis Wheatley, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Stephen Crane appear in this anthology alongside such less frequently anthologized poets as George Horton, Sarah Helen Whitman, Elizabeth Oakes-Smith, Frances Harper, Rose Terry Cooke, Helen Hunt Jackson, Adah Menken, Sarah Piatt, Ina Coolbrith, Emma Lazarus, Albery Whitman, Owl Woman (Juana Manwell) Sadakichi Hartmann, Ernest Fenollosa, James Weldon Johnson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and—virtually unknown as a poet—Abraham Lincoln. It also includes poems and songs reflecting the experiences of a variety of racial and ethnic groups.
After 1750 the Americas lived political and popular revolutions, the fall of European empires, and the rise of nations as the world faced a new industrial capitalism. Political revolution made the United States the first new nation; revolutionary slaves made Haiti the second, freeing themselves and destroying the leading Atlantic export economy. A decade later, Bajío insurgents took down the silver economy that fueled global trade and sustained Spain’s empire while Britain triumphed at war and pioneered industrial ways that led the U.S. South, still-Spanish Cuba, and a Brazilian empire to expand slavery to supply rising industrial centers. Meanwhile, the fall of silver left people from Mexico through the Andes searching for new states and economies. After 1870 the United States became an agro-industrial hegemon, and most American nations turned to commodity exports, while Haitians and diverse indigenous peoples struggled to retain independent ways.
Contributors. Alfredo Ávila, Roberto Breña, Sarah C. Chambers, Jordana Dym, Carolyn Fick, Erick Langer, Adam Rothman, David Sartorius, Kirsten Schultz, John Tutino
Regimes and Repertoires
Charles Tilly University of Chicago Press, 2006 Library of Congress JC491.T53 2006 | Dewey Decimal 322.4
The means by which people protest—that is, their repertoires of contention—vary radically from one political regime to the next. Highly capable undemocratic regimes such as China's show no visible signs of popular social movements, yet produce many citizen protests against arbitrary, predatory government. Less effective and undemocratic governments like the Sudan’s, meanwhile, often experience regional insurgencies and even civil wars. In Regimes and Repertoires, Charles Tilly offers a fascinating and wide-ranging case-by-case study of various types of government and the equally various styles of protests they foster.
Using examples drawn from many areas—G8 summit and anti-globalization protests, Hindu activism in 1980s India, nineteenth-century English Chartists organizing on behalf of workers' rights, the revolutions of 1848, and civil wars in Angola, Chechnya, and Kosovo—Tilly masterfully shows that such episodes of contentious politics unfold like loosely scripted theater. Along the way, Tilly also brings forth powerful tools to sort out the reasons why certain political regimes vary and change, how the people living under them make claims on their government, and what connections can be drawn between regime change and the character of contentious politics.
The modern era has generated a bewildering profusion of popular protest including widespread social movements and sporadic revolutionary upheaval. Despite the seemingly chaotic character of such collective action, social scientists have increasingly noted the remarkable regularities exhibited by even the most tumultuous social change. In this volume, sociologists, political scientists, and historians come together to assess the complementary concepts of repertoires and cycles as tools for illuminating the consistent patterns that emerge from the apparent chaos. The significance of repertoires—recurrent forms or tactics of social protest— is explored in an essay on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain by the originator of the concept, Charles Tilly. Sidney Tarrow, whose work has most directly linked the concept of repertoires with that of cycles—the recurrent peaks and troughs in the historical incidence of collective action—contributes an essay that focuses on twentieth-century Italy. Other essays investigate the rhythms and logic of social change in contexts as diverse as sixteenth- through nineteenth-century Japan, nineteeth-century Europe, and twentieth-century America. Through inquiries into the consequences of violent repression for social mobilization, the struggle to control the linguistic terms of social conflict, the unacknowledged antecedents of contemporary movements, and the importance of "movement families," this volume demonstrates the usefulness of these two concepts and defines the relationship between them. Collected from past issues of Social Science History, with a new introduction and two new essays, Repertoires and Cycles of Collective Action will reward an interdisciplinary audience of readers with the extraordinary vitality that emerges from this rich blend of historical perspectives.
Contributors. Charles Brockett, Craig Calhoun, Doug McAdam, Marc Steinberg, Sidney Tarrow, Charles Tilly, Mark Traugott, James White
After World War II, Japanese intellectuals believed that world history was moving inexorably toward bourgeois democracy and then socialism. But who would be the agents—the active "subjects"—of that revolution in Japan? Intensely debated at the time, this question of active subjectivity influenced popular ideas about nationalism and social change that still affect Japanese political culture today.
In a major contribution to modern Japanese intellectual history, J. Victor Koschmann analyzes the debate over subjectivity. He traces the arguments of intellectuals from various disciplines and political viewpoints, and finds that despite their stress on individual autonomy, they all came to define subjectivity in terms of deterministic historical structures, thus ultimately deferring the possibility of radical change in Japan.
Establishing a basis for historical dialogue about democratic revolution, this book will interest anyone concerned with issues of nationalism, postcolonialism, and the formation of identities.
Revolutions, as much as international war or nationalism, have shaped the development of world politics. In cause, ideology, and consequence they have merited description as a “sixth great power” alongside the dominant nations. In Revolution and World Politics Fred Halliday reassesses the role of revolution from the French Revolution to the Iranian Revolution and the collapse of communism. Halliday begins by tracing the origins and evolution of the modern concept of “revolution” and placing it in historical context. Arguing that revolution is central to any understanding of international relations, he examines the internationalist ideology of revolutionaries who are committed to promoting change elsewhere by exposing revolution. In contrast with the claims of revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries alike, he sees revolutions both as part of an internationalist social conflict and as a challenge to the system of states. Chapters on the distinct foreign policies of revolutionary states are followed by discussions of war, counterrevolution, and postrevolutionary transformation. The study concludes with a reassessment of the place of revolution within international relations theory and in modern history, drawing out implications for their incidence and character in the twenty-first century. Students and scholars of international relations, political science, sociology, and history will value this major contribution to understanding worldwide developments in government and society.
A revolution is a discontinuity: one political order replaces another, typically through whatever violent means are available. Modern theories of revolutions tend neatly to bracket the French Revolution of 1789 with the fall of the Soviet Union two hundred years later, but contemporary global uprisings—with their truly multivalent causes and consequences—can overwhelm our ability to make sense of them.
In this authoritative new book, Saïd Amir Arjomand reaches back to antiquity to propose a unified theory of revolution. Revolution illuminates the stories of premodern rebellions from the ancient world, as well as medieval European revolts and more recent events, up to the Arab Spring of 2011. Arjomand categorizes revolutions in two groups: ones that expand the existing body politic and power structure, and ones that aim to erode—but paradoxically augment—their authority. The revolutions of the past, he tells us, can shed light on the causes of those of the present and future: as long as centralized states remain powerful, there will be room for greater, and perhaps forceful, integration of the politically disenfranchised.
Offering insights into the origins, successes, and threats to revolutionary constitutionalism, Bruce Ackerman takes us to India, South Africa, Italy, France, Poland, Burma, Israel, Iran, and the U.S. and provides a blow-by-blow account of the tribulations that confronted popular movements in their insurgent campaigns for constitutional democracy.
In The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development, María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo boldly argues that crucial twentieth-century revolutionary challenges to colonialism and capitalism in the Americas have failed to resist—and in fact have been constitutively related to—the very developmentalist narratives that have justified and naturalized postwar capitalism. Saldaña-Portillo brings the critique of development discourse to bear on such exemplars of revolutionary and resistant political thought and practice as Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Malcolm X, the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, and the Guatemalan guerrilla resistance. She suggests that for each of these, developmentalist constructions frame the struggle as a heroic movement from unconsciousness to consciousness, from a childlike backwardness toward a disciplined and self-aware maturity.
Reading governmental reports, memos, and policies, Saldaña-Portillo traces the arc of development narratives from its beginnings in the 1944 Bretton Woods conference through its apex during Robert S. McNamara's reign at the World Bank (1968–1981). She compares these narratives with models of subjectivity and agency embedded in the autobiographical texts of three revolutionary icons of the 1960s and 1970s—those of Che Guevara, Guatemalan insurgent Mario Payeras, and Malcolm X—and the agricultural policy of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Saldaña-Portillo highlights a shared paradigm of a masculinist transformation of the individual requiring the "transcendence" of ethnic particularity for the good of the nation. While she argues that this model of progress often alienated the very communities targeted by the revolutionaries, she shows how contemporary insurgents such as Rigoberta Menchú, the Zapatista movement, and queer Aztlán have taken up the radicalism of their predecessors to retheorize revolutionary subjectivity for the twenty-first century.
Unquestionably a watershed year in world history, 1917 not only saw the Russian Revolution and the US entry into World War I, it also marked a foundational moment in determining global political structures for the remaining twentieth century. Yet while contemporaries were cognizant of these global connections, historiography has been largely limited to analysis of the nation-state. A century later, this book discusses the transnational dimension of the numerous upheavals, rebellions, and violent reactions on a global level that began with 1917. Experts from different continents contribute findings that go beyond the well-known European and transatlantic narratives, making for a uniquely global study of this crucial period in history.
In Revolutions in Mexican Catholicism, Edward Wright-Rios investigates how Catholicism was lived and experienced in the Archdiocese of Oaxaca, a region known for its distinct indigenous cultures and vibrant religious life, during the turbulent period of modernization in Mexico that extended from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth. Wright-Rios centers his analysis on three “visions” of Catholicism: an enterprising archbishop’s ambitious religious reform project, an elderly indigenous woman’s remarkable career as a seer and faith healer, and an apparition movement that coalesced around a visionary Indian girl. Deftly integrating documentary evidence with oral histories, Wright-Rios provides a rich, textured portrait of Catholicism during the decades leading up to the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and throughout the tempestuous 1920s.
Wright-Rios demonstrates that pastors, peasants, and laywomen sought to enliven and shape popular religion in Oaxaca. The clergy tried to adapt the Vatican’s blueprint for Catholic revival to Oaxaca through institutional reforms and attempts to alter the nature and feel of lay religious practice in what amounted to a religious modernization program. Yet some devout women had their own plans. They proclaimed their personal experiences of miraculous revelation, pressured priests to recognize those experiences, marshaled their supporters, and even created new local institutions to advance their causes and sustain the new practices they created. By describing female-led visionary movements and the ideas, traditions, and startling innovations that emerged from Oaxaca’s indigenous laity, Wright-Rios adds a rarely documented perspective to Mexican cultural history. He reveals a remarkable dynamic of interaction and negotiation in which priests and parishioners as well as prelates and local seers sometimes clashed and sometimes cooperated but remained engaged with one another in the process of making their faith meaningful in tumultuous times.
Misagh Parsa develops a structural theory of the causes and outcomes of revolution, applying the theory in particular to Iran. He focuses on the ends and means of various groups of Iranians before, during, and after the revolution. For Parsa, revolution is not a direct result of ideologies, which may be less important than structural factors such as the nature of the state and the economy, as well as each group's interests, capacity for mobilization, autonomy, and solidarity structures.
Existing theories of revolution explain earlier revolutions better than the Iranian revolution. In Iran most of the protest was in urban areas, the peasants never played a major role, and power was transferred to the clergy, not to an intelligentsia. In the 1970s, oil revenues increased, the economy developed rapidly but unevenly, and the state's expanded intervention undermined market forces and politicized capital accumulation. Systematic repression of workers, aid to the upper class, and attacks on secular and religious opposition showed that the state was serving the interests of particular groups. When the state tried to check high inflation by imposing price controls on bazaaris (merchants, shopkeepers, artisans), their protests forced the state to introduce reforms, providing an opportunity for industrial workers, white-collar workers, intellectuals, and the clergy to mobilize against the state. Thus, structural features rendered the state vulnerable to challenge and attack.
Parsa's thorough explanation of the collective actions of each major group in Iran in the three decades prior to the revolution shows how a coalition of classes and groups, using mosques as safe gathering places and led by a segment of the clergy, brought down the monarch of 1979. In the years since the revolution, the conflicts that existed before the revolution seem to be reemerging, in slightly altered form. The clergy now has control, and the state has become centrally and powerfully involved in the economy of the country.
Even in the period following the electoral defeat of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1990, the revolution of 1979 continues to have a profound effect on the political economy of Nicaragua. Wright’s study, which is based on interviews with people from all walks of life—from government and party officials to academics and campesinos—as well as on the large volume of literature in both English and Spanish, focuses on the FSLN understanding of the relationships between the state, the party, and mass actors, and the nature of social classes. Wright considers the topics of agrarian reform, the development of mass organizations, the role of labor, and other aspects of the Nicaraguan political economy in order to assess their significance in theoretical as well as practical terms.
Un-American is Bill Mullen’s revisionist account of renowned author and activist W.E.B. Du Bois’s political thought toward the end of his life, a period largely dismissed and neglected by scholars. He describes Du Bois’s support for what the Communist International called “world revolution” as the primary objective of this aged radical’s activism. Du Bois was a champion of the world’s laboring millions and critic of the Cold War, a man dedicated to animating global political revolution.
Mullen argues that Du Bois believed that the Cold War stalemate could create the conditions in which the world powers could achieve not only peace but workers’ democracy. Un-American shows Du Bois to be deeply engaged in international networks and personal relationships with revolutionaries in India, China, and Africa. Mullen explores how thinkers like Karl Marx, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohandas Gandhi, and C.L.R. James helped him develop a theory of world revolution at a stage in his life when most commentators regard him as marginalized. This original political biography also challenges assessments of Du Bois as an American “race man.”
To learn about the "Age of Revolutions" in Europe and the Americas is to engage with the emergence of the modern world. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, nations were founded, old empires collapsed, and new ones arose. Struggles for emancipation—whether from royal authority, colonial rule, slavery, or patriarchy—inspired both hopes and fears. This book, designed for university and secondary school teachers, provides up-to-date content and perspectives, classroom-tested techniques, innovative ideas, and an exciting variety of pathways to introduce students to this complex era of history.
The volume includes chapters on sources and methods for stimulating student debate and learning, including Tom Paine's Common Sense, the Haitian Declaration of Independence, and other key documents; role-playing games; visual arts and culture; and music, including opera and popular songs. Other chapters delve into specific themes, including revolution and riot, revolutionary terror, enlightenment, gender, slavery, nationalism, environment and climate, and the roles of politically excluded groups. Collectively, the contributions ensure a broad Atlantic scope, discussing the revolutions in Britain's North American colonies, Haiti, and Latin America, and European revolutions including France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
On the night of November 9, 1989, an electrified world watched as the Berlin Wall came down. Communism was dead, the Cold War was over, and freedom was on the rise—or so it seemed. We Were the People tells the story behind this momentous event. In an extraordinary series of interviews, the key actors in the drama that transformed East Germany speak for themselves, describing what they did, what happened and why, and what it has meant to them. The result is a powerful firsthand account of a rare historical moment, one that reverberates far beyond the toppled wall that once divided Germany and the world. The drama We Were the People recreates is remarkable for its richness and complexity. Here are citizens organizing despite threats of bloody crackdowns; party functionaries desperately trying to survive as time-honored political prerogatives crumble beneath their feet; an oppressed people discovering the possibilities of power and freedom, but also the sobering strangeness of new political realities. With their success, East Germans encountered the overpowering might of thie Western neighbor--and stand perplexed before the onslaught of real estate agents, glossy consumer ads, political professionalism--and the discovery that a lifetime of social experience has suddenly lost all usable context. They became, in the words of one participant, a people "without biography." Over all the recent events and unlikely turns recounted here, one thing remains paramount: the sweep of the initial democratic conception that animated the East German revolution. We Were the People brings this movement to life in all its drama and detail, and vividly recovers a historic moment that altered forever the shape of modern Europe.
Some Voices of the People Bärbel Bohley/ "Mother of the Revolution" Rainer Eppelmann/ Protestant Pastor Klaus Kaden/ Church Emissary to the Opposition Hans Modrow/ Former Communist Prime Minister Ludwig Mehlhorn/ Opposition Theorist Ingrid Köppe/ Opposition Representative Frank Eigenfeld/ New Forum Harald Wagner/ Democracy Now Sebastian Pflugbeil/ Democratic Strategist East German Workers Cornelia Matzke/ Independent Women's Alliance André Brie/ Party Vice-Chairman Gerhard Ruden/ Environmental Activist Werner Bramke/ Party Academic