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From Philadelphia to Athens: Why revolutions come in waves



From Philadelphia to Athens: Why revolutions come in waves


12 March 2021


The paper offers a general theory of how revolutions in one country can be connected to revolutions in others, illustrated by examples drawn from across the “age of revolutions” and of course including the Greek Revolution. It argues that the connections can be broadly categorized in three ways. First, there are structural connections: similar structural tensions and conflicts lead to revolutionary outcomes in different countries. The tensions and conflicts can include the rise of new social formations and new cultural practices, and also the weakening of imperial authority (suggestive parallels might be drawn, for instance, between developments in the Spanish and Ottoman empires). Second, there are connections by transmission: revolutionary ideas and personnel from one country provoke revolutionary outbreaks in another. Finally, there are connections by disruption: a revolution in one country has seriously destabilising economic or political effects in another, making revolution more likely there (a classic case here would be how the French Revolution led to Napoleon’s invasion of Spain, disrupting Spanish authority over its possessions in the Americas).

(Edited abstract from organiser’s website)

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Number Of Pages - Duration



BY-NC-SA Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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