Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Anatomies of Revolution

$26.99 (P)

  • Author: George Lawson, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Date Published: September 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108710855

$ 26.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Recent years have seen renewed interest in the study of revolution. Spurred by events like the 2011 uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, the rise of Islamic State, and the emergence of populism, a new age of revolution has generated considerable interest. Yet, even as empirical studies of revolutions are thriving, there has been a stall in theories of revolution. Anatomies of Revolution offers a novel account of how revolutions begin, unfold and end. By combining insights from international relations, sociology, and global history, it outlines the benefits of a 'global historical sociology' of revolutionary change, one in which international processes take centre stage. Featuring a wide range of cases from across modern world history, this is a comprehensive account of one of the world's most important processes. It will interest students and scholars studying revolutions, political conflict and contentious politics in sociology, politics and international relations.

    • Offers an account that links past and present revolutions from around the world
    • Provides a new synthesis that brings together both practices, for example revolutions, counter-revolution, civil wars and contentious politics, and scholarship, previously seen as distinct, in one cohesive volume
    • Overcomes binaries between international and domestic in work on revolutions by developing an 'inter-social' account of revolutionary change
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘George Lawson gives us a new perspective on the sociology of revolutions in a masterwork that is destined to become the best ‘go-to' book on revolutions for the 2010-20 decade!' John Foran, University of California, Santa Barbara

    'An incredible tour de force, rich in scholarship and powerful in its original analysis, this is the brilliant new approach to revolutions we have been waiting for. Bridging history, sociology, and political science, Lawson treats revolutions as a living, evolving process, equally international and national in character. His fresh insights on the dynamics and outcomes of revolutions expand our understanding of events from seventeenth century England to today’s Islamist and populist upheavals.' Jack A. Goldstone, Hazel Chair Professor, George Mason University, Virginia

    'In this magisterial and highly anticipated study, George Lawson forces us to fundamentally reconsider the way we think about revolutions. Theoretically sophisticated, empirically rich, and intellectually stimulating, this is absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in revolutions.' Daniel Ritter, Stockholms universitet

    'In this highly original study, George Lawson gives flesh to an 'historicist' approach to the study of revolutions, outlining ideal-typical paths underpinning their materialization, unfolding, and outcome across multiple cases. In the process, he shows how revolutions are best understood in relational and global terms, and how revolution and avoidance of revolution have been central to the course of modern history.' Mark R. Beissinger, Henry W. Putnam Professor of Politics, Princeton University, New Jersey

    'George Lawson’s latest book comes at a crucial time. With remarkable depth and breadth, Lawson argues for a relational understanding of revolution as a dynamic social process. In doing so, he provides a sweeping overview of the tensions, limitations, and contradictions inherent in revolutionary processes and outcomes. Contrary to those who question the revolutionary potential of contemporary uprisings, Lawson makes the case that, in historical context, many recent popular upheavals do indeed possess revolutionary qualities. Lawson shows that the age of revolutions is far from over. A brilliant book.' Erica Chenoweth, Harvard Kennedy School, Massachusetts

    'This is a brilliant book: cleverly conceived, beautifully crafted, and now the state of the art with reference to revolution. Lawson judiciously walks us through where we’ve been, are, and proffers a glimpse of where we must go, but it is by situating us in the global and revolution within the pantheon of socio-political change, he opens up whole new dimensions to our great good fortune. Smart, sophisticated, invaluable work.' Eric Selbin, Southwestern University, Texas

    '… this book accomplishes something truly remarkable: it provides clarity, not in spite of its complexity, but through it.' Eric Loefflad, The London School of Economics Review of Books (

    'Lawson sets the stage for a new generation of studies of radical social change and the reshaping of the modern global order.' John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

    'Lawson’s double achievement of a rigorous engagement with revolutions literature and a demonstration of the usefulness of an ambitious and iconoclastic methodological approach makes this book valuable to all scholars of international politics.' Horia M. Dijmarescu, International Affairs

    ‘The book will likely stand as the ideal-typical example of fourth generation revolution studies … will be read a generation from now.’ Colin J. Beck, Social Forces

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108710855
    • length: 296 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the rights and wrongs of revolution
    Part I. Theories:
    1. Revolutionary dynamics
    2. Within and beyond the fourth generation
    3. Anatomies of revolution
    Part II. Histories:
    4. Revolutionary situations: England and Chile
    5. Revolutionary trajectories: Cuba and South Africa
    6. Revolutionary outcomes: Iran and Ukraine
    Part III. Prospects:
    7. Revolutions in the contemporary world
    8. Revolutionary futures.

  • Author

    George Lawson, London School of Economics and Political Science
    George Lawson is Associate Professor in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His books include: Global Historical Sociology, co-edited with Julian Go (Cambridge, 2017); The Global Transformation: History, Modernity and the Making of International Relations, co-authored with Barry Buzan (Cambridge, 2015); and Negotiated Revolutions: The Czech Republic, South Africa and Chile (2005).

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.