The international relations of ‘bourgeois revolutions’: Disputing the Turkish Revolution

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The study of revolutions is at the forefront of the growing field of International Historical Sociology. As International Historical Sociology scholars have sought to uncover the spatio-temporally changing character of international relations, they have come a long way in overcoming ‘unilinear’ and ‘internalist’ conceptions of revolutionary modern transformation. In this article, I re-evaluate the extent to which the International Historical Sociology of ‘bourgeois revolutions’ has succeeded in remedying unilinear conceptions of the transition to modernity. I argue that ‘consequentialist’ approaches to the study of bourgeois revolutions tend to obscure the radically heterogeneous character of revolutionary transformations, both within and outside Western Europe. Drawing on Political Marxism and Robbie Shilliam’s discussion of Jacobinism, I first provide a non-consequentialist reading of the revolutions of modernity within Western Europe, and then utilize this reinterpretation to provide a new interpretation of the Turkish Revolution (1923–1945). My aim is to demonstrate that a non-consequentialist conception of ‘bourgeois revolutions’ will enable us to historicize and theorize more accurately the co-constitution of international relations and revolutionary processes, hence providing a stronger foundation for the International Historical Sociology of modern revolutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-439
Number of pages26
JournalEuropean Journal of International Relations
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Capitalism
  • historical sociology
  • international system
  • Jacobinism
  • Marxism
  • Middle East
  • revolution
  • Turkey
  • uneven and combined development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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