Critically examine various ‘theories of revolution’.

A revolution is a fundamental change in political power or organizational structures in a relatively short period of time. It is generally due to the rising discontent of the population against the current authorities—for example, the French Revolution and the October Revolution.

 Charles Tilly sees revolution as an outcome of a power struggle between competing interest groups. It occurs in the case of multiple sovereignty- when a government lacks control over all areas it is supposed to administer.  For Example: due to external war or internal political clashes.

Theda Davis sees revolution to be caused, not by absolute deprivation by relative deprivation. The four main components that led to the revolution are:

(1)        Organization of the deprived or affected group

(2)        Mobilization –resources needed

(3)        Common interests

(4)        Opportunity – can be any small event that acts as a trigger

Louis Althuser believed that a revolution would occur in the weak link in the chain of capitalism – that area where the social contradictions are more prominent. Non-democratic societies are more likely to see a revolution due to greater repression and a lack of alternative avenues to express dissent.

Fukuyama calls democracy and economic capitalism the only true revolutions in’ The end of history.’ Thus, revolutions may occur due to structural or social inefficiencies. Their outcome may or may not be long-lasting. While the Russian Revolution ushered in communism, which ruled the USSR until its breakdown, the Jasmine Revolution saw only slight democratic changes.  

Share on:

The Sociology Group is an organization dedicated to creating social awareness through thoughtful initiatives like "social stories" and the "Meet the Professor" insightful interview series. Recognized for our book reviews, author interviews, and social sciences articles, we also host annual social sciences writing competition. Interested in joining us? Email [email protected]. We are a dedicated team of social scientists on a mission to simplify complex theories, conduct enlightening interviews, and offer academic assistance, making Social Science accessible and practical for all curious minds.