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BONUS: $50 AMAZON Gift Card Opportunity



almers Johnson, rebellions are not so much the product of political violence or collective action but in "the analysis of viable, functioning societies". In a quasi-biological manner, Johnson sees revolutions as symptoms of pathologies within the societal fabric. A healthy society, meaning a "value-coordinated social system" does not experience political violence. Johnson's equilibrium is at the intersection between the need for society to adapt to changes but at the same time firmly grounded in selective fundamental values. The legitimacy of political order, he posits, relies exclusively on its compliance with these societal values and in its capacity to integrate and adapt to any change. Rigidity is, in other words, inadmissible. Johnson writes "to make a revolution is to accept violence for the purpose of causing the system to change; more exactly, it is the purposive implementation of a strategy of violence in order to effect a change in social structure". The aim of a revolution
  is to re-align a political order on new societal values introduced by an externality that the system itself has not been able to process. Rebellions automatically must face a certain amount of coercion because by becoming "de-synchronized", the now illegitimate political order will have to use coercion to maintain its position. A simplified example would be the French Revolution when the Parisian Bourgeoisie did not recognize the core values and outlook of the King as synchronized with its own orientations. More than the King itself, what really sparked the violence was the uncompromising intransigence of the ruling class. Johnson emphasizes "the necessity of investigating a system's value structure and its problems in order to conceptualize the revolutionary situation in any meaningful way".

Theda Skocpol and the autonomy of the state
Skocpol introduces the concept of the social revolution, to be contrasted with a political revolution. While the latter aims to change the polity, the former is "rapid, basic transformations of a society's state and class structures; and they are accompanied and in part carried through by class-based revolts from below". Social revolutions are a grassroots movement by nature because they do more than change the modalities of power, they aim to transform the fundamental social structure of society. As a corollary, this means that some "revolutions" may cosmetically change the organization of the monopoly over power without engineering any true change in the social fabric of society. Her analysis is limited to studying the French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions. Skocpol identifies three stages of the revolution in these cases (which she believes can be extrapolated and generalized), each accordingly accompanied by specific structural factors which in turn influence the social results
  of the political action.

The Collapse of the Old-Regime State: this is an automatic consequence of certain structural conditions. She highlights the importance of international military and economic competition as well as the pressure of the misfunctioning of domestic affairs. More precisely, she sees the breakdown of the governing structures of society influenced by two theoretical actors, the "landed upper class" and the "imperial state". Both could be considered as "partners in exploitation" but in reality competed for resources: the state (monarchs) seek to build up military and economic power to ascertain their geopolitical influence. The upper class works in a logic of profit maximization, meaning preventing as much as possible the state to extract resources. All three revolutions occurred, Skocpol argues, because states failed to be able to "mobilize extraordinary resources from the society and implement in the process reforms requiring structural transformations". The apparently contradicting policie
 s were mandated by a unique set of geopolitical competition and modernization. "Revolutionary political crises occurred because of the unsuccessful attempts of the Bourbon, Romanov, and Manchu regimes to cope with foreign pressures." Skocpol further concludes "the upshot was the disinte

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