Origins of Revolutions Term Paper by Julian

Origins of Revolutions
A look at whether revolutions are either "made" by men or "just happen".
# 151898 | 1,836 words | 10 sources | APA | 2012 | US

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This paper explores various questions and concepts about revolutions, particularly if they are created intentionally or are spontaneous events. First, the paper cites several scholars and their outlooks and hypotheses on revolution. Next, the paper focuses on the meaning of political violence and sociological structural functionalism. Then, the paper explores several examples of scholars who studied revolution from a Marxist outlook. Finally, the writer addresses revolutions from the standpoint of international relations. The paper concludes by postulating how future generation of historians will evaluate revolutions.

From the Paper:

"Nevertheless, it was a leap of faith to think that social psychology had enough explanatory power on its own that further approaches would not be necessary. When one thinks of events as disparate as the French Revolution of 1789, the Russian Revolution of 1917 and various Chinese and Latin American revolutions, it is difficult to pretend that local customs and idiosyncrasies, on on hand, and plain geographical limitations, on the other hand, matter less than general laws of social behavior which take people to be as interchangeable as gas molecules. Furthermore, sociological and psychological theories are not particularly easy to falsify, and scholars were bound to look for more explanatory power elsewhere, sooner or later.
"The second generation of scholars of regime change is so heteroclite that one has the feeling they were bundled together mostly because they happened to work during the same decades (roughly the 1950s to the 1980s, though there is a great deal of overlap), and because some younger scholars felt a strong need to dismiss what had gone on before them, clear the table and start anew. There are second-generation theorists, like Ted Robert Gurr, who emphasize social psychology and ideology in their treatment of political change..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Aya, Rod. 1990. Rethinking Revolutions And Collective Violence: Studies On Concept, Theory And Method. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis.
  • Goldstone, J.A. 1980. Theories of Revolution: The Third Generation. World Politics 2-3, p. 425-453.
  • Goldstone, J.A., 2001. Toward a Fourth Generation of Revolutionary Theory. SSRN eLibrary. Available at:
  • Gurr, T.R. 1970. Why men rebel. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.
  • Jessop, Bob. 1990. State theory: putting the Capitalist state in its place, Penn State Press.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Origins of Revolutions (2012, October 22) Retrieved April 03, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Origins of Revolutions" 22 October 2012. Web. 03 April. 2020. <>