States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China

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9780521294997: States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China
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State structures, international forces, and class relations: Theda Skocpol shows how all three combine to explain the origins and accomplishments of social-revolutionary transformations. From France in the 1790s to Vietnam in the 1970s, social revolutions have been rare but undeniably of enormous importance in modern world history. States and Social Revolutions provides a new frame of reference for analyzing the causes, the conflicts, and the outcomes of such revolutions. And it develops in depth a rigorous, comparative historical analysis of three major cases: the French Revolution of 1787 through the early 1800s, the Russian Revolution of 1917 through the 1930s, and the Chinese Revolution of 1911 through the 1960s. Believing that existing theories of revolution, both Marxist and non-Marxist, are inadequate to explain the actual historical patterns of revolutions, the author urges us to adopt fresh perspectives. Above all, she maintains that states conceived as administrative and coercive organizations potentially autonomous from class controls and interests must be made central to explanations of revolutions.

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Book Description:

Why have social revolutions occurred in some countries but not in others? How and why have prerevolutionary regimes come into crisis? This study offers important new theoretical strategies within a comparative historical analysis of the causes and outcomes of three major cases.

About the Author:

Theda Skocpol is Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University. Her previous works include the prize-winning "States and Social Revolutions".

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