Revolutionary Roads: Exploring Paths to Unarmed Regime Change
Daniel Ritter (Stockholm University)
The past four decades have seen dozens of nonviolent revolutionary movements attempt to overthrow authoritarian regimes on almost every continent. While the protagonists have surprisingly often had reason to celebrate their unlikely victories, far from all efforts at unarmed revolution has been successful. This paper seeks to identify the factors that help explain why some movements succeed while others fail. Using qualitative comparative analysis and building on existing theories of revolution, the analysis shows that we need to reconsider the manner in which we think about revolutions. Rather than focus on the causes of revolutionary unrest, attention should be placed on international contexts and the interplay of the domestic and transnational mechanisms that surround unarmed revolutions.
Daniel Ritter (Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stockholm University), is a political sociologist specializing in revolutions and social movements. He is particularly interested in understanding how international structures shape - and are shaped by - domestic politics. He received his doctoral training at the University of Texas at Austin (PhD awarded in 2010) and has held postdoctoral positions at the European University Institute in Florence and at Stockholm University. Prior to returning to SU in 2016, he was Assistant Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. His first book, The Iron Cage of Liberalism: International Politics and Unarmed Revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015.