Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


  • Oliver Harrison
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_269


The concept of revolution has proved to be, and perhaps continues to be, one of the most problematic in the social sciences. One of the reasons for this is due to its highly emotive nature. ‘Revolution’ conjures a variety of signifiers, ranging from a brutal and sudden surge into the unknown, to an irresistible and progressive doorway into the future. Its usage today is intrinsically tied, one way or another, to the notion of modernity, particularly – although not exclusively – in relation to radical social and/or political change. Since the early nineteenth century there have been continual attempts to understand this phenomenon, and although for some the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 marked a post-revolutionary turning point, two decades later, the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ (2010-) suggests otherwise.


Providing one clear-cut definition of revolution proves hard due to their historical variability. One particularly important distinction, however, is between...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK