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Politics and International Relations (PIR): Events


The Changing Face of Revolution 1900-2014

The Changing Face of Revolution 1900-2014
Speaker: Dr Mark Beissinger # Princeton University; Hosted by: Prof. John Peterson # University of Edinburgh
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Date and Time
6th Nov 2015 13:00 - 6th Nov 2015 14:00
Chrystal Macmillan Building seminar rooms 1+2

Defining a revolutionary episode as a mass siege of an established government with the aims of displacing the incumbent regime and substantially altering the political or social order, Professor Beissinger explores the changing character of revolution as a mode of regime-change using a new dataset on revolutionary episodes from 1900 to 2014. He shows that we live in a revolutionary era in which attempts to overthrow government through large-scale mass mobilization occur at a significantly greater pace than was true during the first half of the twentieth century or the Cold War.  A combination of social and political forces - global urbanization, geopolitical change, and the emergence of new communications technologies - have led to a shift in the character and frequency of revolutionary activity worldwide.  While social revolution has grown marginalized, and the agrarian-bureaucratic societies that Skocpol identified as so central to social revolution have now urbanized, a new model of urban civic revolt has emerged that aims to mass as many people as possible in central urban spaces in a concentrated period of time with the aim of precipitating defections from an incumbent regime.