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Counter-revolution, order and international politics

journal contribution
posted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by N Bisley
Every social revolution has elicited some form of counter-revolutionary response from the international system. The impulse to reverse revolutionary transformation has much to tell us about the dynamics of social revolution as well as the nature of international order. The purpose of this article is to investigate the relationship between counter-revolution and international order. First it establishes a basic conceptual framework of international counter-revolution and argues that counter-revolution should be understood as more than just an active opposition to revolution and also examines the motives of counter-revolutionaries. Second, using two interpretations of the international system – those of Henry Kissinger and Raymond Aron – the article draws several conclusions about the international tendency to attempt to overturn revolution and concludes that there exist international systemic pressures, of a non-neorealist kind, which provide the basis for international order. These pressures not only produce order but, at certain times, impel states to counter radical transformations in parts of the world which seem, at first glance, to have little consequence for the functioning of international order.

History

Journal

Review of international studies

Volume

30

Issue

1

Pagination

49 - 69

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Location

Cambridge, England

ISSN

0260-2105

eISSN

1469-9044

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2004, British International Studies Association

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