The SAGE Handbook of Comparative Politics presents in one volume an authoritative overview of the theoretical, methodological, and substantive elements of comparative political science. The 28 specially commissioned chapters, written by renowned comparative scholars, guide the reader through the central issues and debates, presenting a state-of-the-art guide to the past, present, and possible futures of the field.


Jack A.Goldstone


Revolutions are rapid changes in the institutions of government, carried out by non-institutional means, and usually with the support of popular groups mobilized for demonstrations, local revolts, guerilla warfare, civil war, mass strikes, or other revolutionary actions. Until the 1960s, revolutions were viewed as major turning points in history, ending traditional systems of government and ushering in modern political organization. However, the proliferation of revolutionary movements and of rapid shifts in governments throughout the twentieth century has led to a more open and ambiguous view. Revolutions – even ‘great social revolutions’ such as the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 – are now seen as bringing a mixture of change and continuity.

Revolutions include many different kinds of social change, ...

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