Social Revolutions in the Modern World

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A Review of: Social Revolutions in the Modern World, by Theda Skocpol Theda Skocpol grew up in Detroit, Michigan, received her B.A. from Michigan State University and went on to earn a PhD from Harvard in sociology, where she is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Sociology and Government. She is widely regarded in academic circles for her unique approaches to understanding political and social science issues. In 2007, Skocpol was awarded the John Skytte Prize in political science, one of the world’s most prestigious, academic awards. Theda Skocpol’s, Social Revolutions in the Modern World, was widely published in 1994 and presents an extension of her structurally-based, comparative analysis of various social revolutions. In addition to this book, she has also published numerous other works including States and Social Revolutions and the acclaimed, Protecting Soldiers and Mothers: The Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States, applying her social theories to the genesis of the American welfare state. Social Revolutions in the Modern World is a compilation of essays, which updates and expands arguments Skocpol posed years earlier regarding social revolutions in her previous book, States and Social Revolutions. The updated arguments seek to explain how we can better understand recent revolutionary upheavals in countries across the globe and why social revolutions have happened in some countries, but not in others. Throughout the book, Skocpol illustrates how ideas about states and societies can aid in identifying the particular types of regimes that are susceptible to the growth of revolutionary movements as well as those that are vulnerable to seizure of state power by revolutionary aggressors. Skocpol argu... ... middle of paper ... ...d non-partisan nature, Skocpol could ably elevate Sewell’s ideology to a position of substantially greater importance within the case study. Perhaps the greatest contribution of Skocpol and her methodology is the willingness to consider all the possibilities of a revolution’s sources without weighting one factor too heavily at the outset or relegating others as non-attributable to the genesis of the revolution or its course. This approach then may aid other researchers and serve as a flexible approach (and way of thinking) for further historical, comparative analysis of social revolutions. Works Cited Skocpol, Theda. Social Revolutions in the Modern World. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994. “Theda Skocpol | Harvard University - Department of Government.” Accessed December 7, 2013. http://www.gov.harvard.edu/people/faculty/theda-skocpol.
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