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Successful Revolutions Essay

633 words - 3 pages

This essay examines revolutions in order to find reasons for their success and failure. To prevent having a narrow view or making false conclusions, I will use a wide range of different failed and successful revolutions from different regions and different eras. This will inevitably limit the depth of analysis of a specific case study.

To properly determine the factors affecting success or failure of a revolution, it is first necessary to clearly define what is meant by ‘revolution’. Robert Dix defines revolution as “a process intended by its initiator to win power by violent means, in order to effect a radical restructuring of a country's polity, economy, society, and external relationships.” (Dix 1983, 423) Skocpol furthermore says that “[T]he word ‘revolution’ [has a] modern connotation of a fundamental socio-political change accompanied by violent upheavals from below.” (Skocpol 1988, 151) Both of these definitions take violence as a necessary part of a revolution. That, however, is too narrow a view. It is possible for revolutionaries to use other means, such as strikes and non-violent protests, to achieve their goals. It is true that it is hard to find an example of a successful non-violent revolution, but that should not affect our definition. Moreover, in a modern globalized and technologically advanced world, cyber world is becoming more and more important. Therefore it is possible that in the future revolutionaries are able to cause extensive harm to the regime without actual violence through attacking computer-based systems. It is also noteworthy that if we call non-violent revolutions with a different name, we may end up to a false conclusion when studying what makes revolution to succeed or fail, since in that case it could be that we would be leaving the most successful revolutions out of the scope of our examination. Is it not true that a revolution is highly successful if it achieves its goals even without violence? These things considered, a better definition has been put forward by...

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