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Toward a Regeneration of Revolutionary Theory

Abrams, B; (2021) Toward a Regeneration of Revolutionary Theory. Journal of Historical Sociology , 34 (1) pp. 142-149. 10.1111/johs.12317. Green open access

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Revolutionary theorists are currently immersed in a critical debate about the future of the field. Allinson has argued that a fifth generation of revolutionary theory has passed us by without our noticing, while I have contended that it is revolutionary theory's fourth generation that is decidedly imperilled. Ritter and Beck – for their part‐ contend that we should reject the very idea of theoretical ‘generations’, and instead think of progress in revolutionary theory as a series of ongoing and settled debates about certain key topics. The pair contend that revolutionary theory has reached a consensus on two core debates: defining our object of study and determining appropriate methods. Contrary to this position, I argue that while there is much to praise about rejecting generational imagery, doing so necessarily entails that we also critique the self‐proclaimed ‘fourth generation' with which such imagery is intertwined. Furthermore, I argue that there does not yet exist consensus among revolutionary theorists about a single definition of revolution, or on the question of which methods to use. Finally, I call for a regeneration of revolutionary theory which moves genuinely beyond the generational mythologies of the past.

Type: Article
Title: Toward a Regeneration of Revolutionary Theory
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/johs.12317
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/johs.12317
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Anthropology, History, Sociology, GENERATION
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128646
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