Revolution Reconsidered: An Alternative Approach to Understanding Social Revolution

53 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2021 Last revised: 19 Aug 2022

See all articles by Megan Stewart

Megan Stewart

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Date Written: October 30, 2021

Abstract

Social revolutions are typically defined as a transformation of the social order and are among the most important world-historical events. Despite their importance, existing research often follows a set of implicit or explicit conventions in the definition and measure thereof that produce conceptual and empirical challenges to the study of social revolution. To correct these issues, I present a new framework for studying social revolution. If social revolutions are a transformation of the social order, the framework proposed here advocates shifting the unit of analysis from social revolutions as a whole to the programs and projects political actors use to achieve a transformation of the social order (e.g., land reform, emancipation, expanding access to political institutions, etc.). I call these programs and projects "revolutionary repertoires". The revolutionary repertoires approach addresses analytic issues that arise in works on social revolution, enables scholars to refine existing research questions, and offers several avenues for future work.

Keywords: revolution, measurement

Suggested Citation

Stewart, Megan, Revolution Reconsidered: An Alternative Approach to Understanding Social Revolution (October 30, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3953445 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3953445

Megan Stewart (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor ( email )

500 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

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