Discipline: Political Science

Theory of historical change.

In its earlier version, the theory of revolution dealt not with violent or insurrectionary change, but with cycles whereby systems or institutions grew, matured, and declined or collapsed.

Its 19th- and 20th-century version is either a view that significant changes in social, political or economic arrangements only occur as a result of disruptive - though not necessarily violent - upheaval, or the advocacy of such methods.

David Miller et al., eds, The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought (1987)


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