A Loose Overview and Practical Interpretation of John Foran’s Thesis on the Causal Factors Behind Revolutions

Anti-Imperialism.org

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In his book, Taking Power, On the Origins of Third World Revolutions (2005, Cambridge University Press), sociologist John Foran calculates a series of causal factors behind the development and success of revolutions.

According to Foran, the necessary ingredients for nearly all revolutions in the 20th century have been:

  • Dependent development.

  • Exclusionary or colonial rule, or democratic polities. 

  • Political cultures of opposition.

  • An economic downturn.

  • A world-system opening.

  • A revolutionary outbreak which encompasses a multi-class, -national, -gender coalition.

Additionally, as part of the outcome of revolutionary movements, successful revolutions are those which develop under the guidance and protection of a centralized and organized force in the form of a post-revolutionary state. Also, despite the initial success of a revolution, features of dependent development never go away quickly and internal forms of oppression may reappear.

What this means:

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