Shmuel Eisenstadt’s Sociology of Revolution

Shmuel Eisenstadt’s Sociology of Revolution

Shults E.E.

Cand. Sci. (Hist.), Moscow State Regional University, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article: 7861

For citation:

Shults E.E. Shmuel Eisenstadt’s Sociology of Revolution. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 10. P. 146-156


The article analyses basic provisions of the theory of revolution by Israeli sociologist Shmuel Eisenstadt. His sociological concept of revolution remains still understudied, meanwhile, it is of huge interest due to its impact on a large number of researchers from various social sciences, especially in problems of the theory of revolution, the generalizing works and studying of the specific revolutions. The first large work of Sh. Eisenstadt devoted to revolutions was published in 1978, but the author kept reflecting on revolutions until the end of life, partially refreshing his conclusions and developing them. Special attention in the article is paid to two corner stones, from the point of view of the author, of Eisenstadt’s theory of revolution: theory of modernization and «axial civilizations» concept. Questions connected with the reasons and consequences of revolutions, social composition and ideologies are considered. From Eisenstadt’ point of view, revolutions are complex social phenomena which involve various big social groups. The ideology of revolutions which provides motivation of participation to these social groups in many respects is based on the principles, classical for social psychology, which by the time of the revolutions became already traditional, including Utopian ideas connected with traditional social demand for a just society. At the same time, revolutions lead to new society – the society constructed on other principles, the principles differentiating modern style civilization from the previous ones. The first cases of such transition occurred in one of axial civilizations – Christian and European that made westernization the first and main model for modernization, but not the only one for the non-European societies.

theory of revolution; sociology of revolution; aftermath of revolutions; modernization; modernity
Content No 10, 2019