Future Of Revolutions

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“What is the likely future of revolutions?”, asks Jack Goldstone, eminent contemporary sociologist and one of the leading figures in the study of revolutions and long term social change, at the end of his masterpiece titled “Revolutions: a very short introduction”. “It depends...” (150), responds Charles Tilly, another iconic sociologist of the modern times, before adding “...it depends on which countries, which claimants, and which objects of claims we have in mind”. Goldstone is convinced that revolutions will keep happening, merely because we still have a long way to go as the human kind, in terms of achieving justice freedom and equality in our societies. Both authors agree that social movements will be unfolding in totally new frameworks. This paper will be taking a close look at Tilly’s predictions regarding the ways they will be engineered. In his book, Goldstone argues that revolutions will keep occurring as long we will be facing his five conditions typically leading to state breakdown: economic or fiscal crisis, elites divided or alienated from the regime, a coalition among popular groups with diverse grievances, the emergence of a persuasive narrative, an international environment favourable to revolutionary change.
As if to pick the “ball” from where Goldstone left it, a quintet of global leading sociologist, Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian and Craig Calhoun came up with “Does capitalism have a future”, a compilation of their contributions on the near future of humanity. The main difference with Goldstone’s masterpiece is their scrupulous analysis of capitalism as a system which they believe is going through a big crisis. What are their main arguments and claims? How will be to...

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...predicts that revolutions are more likely to happen in Sub-Saharan Africa in future; topic which our quintet did not treat extensively in “Does capitalism have a future”. Goldstone goes on predicting a peaceful framework for the evolution of the next social movements, thanks to humanity’s heritage from the “colour” revolutions (Goldstone 132). He highlights how the sacredness of human life has been always winning in the last 30 years in its trade-off against ideological purity. More wisdom and heroism are likely to be displayed. There is a necessity to adjust our expectations from the outcomes of revolution. The American Revolution in 1776 which took the United States in the long journey towards democracy is an example. He concludes by saying there are a lot more revolutions to come, given how far away we are from achieving absolute social justice as a human kind.
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