Episode 14: George Lawson


This conversation explores revolutions. It is the second part of the episode arc “Resistance, Revolution, Democracy.” George Lawson has examined revolutions from both a historical and sociological perspective. His book Anatomies of Revolution has influenced how many scholars think about revolutions.

Our conversation explores revolutions many revolutions as a theoretical concept and as a real phenomenon with unique characteristics in each manifestation. Lawson does not challenge any of the findings of Erica Chenoweth about civil resistance, but does add a wrinkle to the debate. He explains how successful revolutions face a second challenge in how they choose to govern. The broad coalitions of civil resistance campaigns can struggle to overcome this second challenge because their movements are naturally diverse.

This is a fun conversation that is wide ranging. But there is no simple solution for how to transition from a successful revolution to successful governance. The next episode with Jonathan Pinckney offers a blueprint for how civil resistance campaigns can transition From Dissent to Democracy.

George Lawson is a Professor of International Relations at the Australian National University. He was previously Associate Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His work is oriented around the relationship between history and theory, with a particular interest in global historical sociology.

Listen at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you find your podcasts. You can find Anatomies of Revolution at Amazon or your local library. The music of Apes of the State is featured in the introduction and outro . You can find their music on Spotify or Bandcamp.

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