Happy anniversary? States and social revolutions revisited

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    Forty years after its publication, Theda Skocpol's States and social revolutions remains the pre-eminent book in the study of revolutions. But how should the book be assessed from the vantage point of contemporary world politics? This essay reviews Skocpol's contribution to three main issue-areas: theory, structural approaches and the international. It argues that, rich as it has been, the research agenda initiated by States and social revolutions has run its course. It cannot respond effectively to the different contexts within which revolutions emerge and the diverse forms they take. Its bifurcation between structure and agency cannot capture the relational character of revolutionary action. And, despite its concern for the international components of revolutions, States and social revolutions cannot accommodate the ways in which revolutions are ‘intersocial’ all the way down. A new Skocpol is needed for a new age of revolutions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1149–1158
    JournalInternational Affairs
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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