Revolution Reconsidered

Issue Date January 2007
Volume 18
Issue 1
Page Numbers 42-57
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In the winter of 2006 Georgians and Ukrainians will be marking the anniversaries of events that they dubbed revolutions. It is surprising that these historic upheavals did not spur any reconsideration of the concept of revolution. Modern liberal democracy emerged when a “right of revolution” began to be widely argued in the 1700s. Over the next two centuries, revolution was a hope always cherished somewhere on the globe. Some of the subsequent revolutions were amazing successes while others turned out to be cruel deceptions. The “color revolutions” in the former Soviet Union give us an opportunity to ask ourselves whether revolutions are in fact dying out, and whether revolution is a good or bad idea.