What can the great crises of the past teach us about contemporary revolutions? Paying attention to state, elite, and popular concerns, Jack Goldstone suggests that great revolutions were the product of multidimensional crises that occurred when inflexible political, economic, and social institutions were overwhelmed by the cumulative pressures of demographic changes and limited resources. He contends that the causes of the great revolutions of Europe-the English and French Revolutions-were similar to those of the great rebellions of Asia, which shattered dynasties in Ottoman Turkey, China, and Japan.
In this 25th anniversary edition, Goldstone reflects on the history of revolutions in the last twenty-five years, from the Philippines and other color revolutions to the Arab Uprisings and the rise of the Islamic State. In a new introduction, he refocuses on his pioneering look at the role of population changes--such as rising youth cohorts, urbanization, shifting elite mobility--as continuing causal factors of revolutions and rebellions. The new conclusion updates his major theory and looks to the future of revolutions in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.