Ketty A. Loeb
POL S 444
Analysis of the several types of political regimes concerned with effecting fundamental social change; emphasis on the twentieth century.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many scholars and experts proclaimed that the age of revolution was dead. However, in 2010 a wave of protests spread across the Arab states, resulting in the overthrow of the Egyptian, Libyan, and Yemeni states, and catapulting several others into civil war and social protests. What led to these events, and how do we explain variation in the outcomes? In order to answer these questions, this class draws upon a rich body of literature that analyses the origins and outcomes of revolutions throughout history. The class will begin by defining revolutions as opposed to other forms of contentious politics, and then we will turn our energies to understanding state breakdown (the Old Regime), the mobilization tactics of contenders to the Old Regime, and finally, the challenges facing revolutionary regimes once they find themselves in power. Our analysis will cover revolutions across continents and time, Our analysis will cover revolutions across continents and time, and finally students will apply their newfound knowledge to a revolution of their choosing.
Student learning goals
Know a revolution when you see one (as opposed to civil war, rebellions, protests, etc.).
Identify phases of revolutions and actors involved.
Utilize different explanatory theories about why revolutions happen- or donít.
Theorize about regime outcomes (eg. resulting regime type).
Apply these ideas to contemporary case studies.
Write an analytic essay
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Short papers and final essay