This book is a voyage into the thick of unfinished debates and dialogues among frontline activists over how to unify and transform their societies in the direction of greater economic, social, and political equality at a time when the political tide in much of the world seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Connell looks at the programs and animating visions of four revolutionary movements and asks what they have learned from their own and others’ experiences since the end of the Cold War and how their thinking has evolved (or not) to achieve their objectives. His central theme is: what works and what doesn’t in making of social and political revolution?
Drawing from the successes and failures of the movements of all four countries, he argues that democracy, both in terms of the character of society itself and within the political movements that propose to transform it, is as central to the success of a post-Cold War revolutionary project as justice.
But what do we mean by democracy? Is it reducible to a new set of recipes? Is it an identifiable rite of passage through which a nation passes—a gateway to a higher stage of development? Or is it, like nation-building, a process that ebbs and flows unevenly and at times erratically, dependent upon often unpredictable internal and external factors? What are its economic and social components as well as its various political forms? To what degree is it shaped by particular socio-economic, historic and cultural context? How much is popular participation essential to the practice of democracy, and how can it be fostered in a non-manipulative manner while yet retaining its substance? These are some of the questions that drive the exchanges running through this book.
Rethinking Revolution offers a window into some of the most creative thinking on how to work for popular democracy and social justice in the post-Cold War era—and what democracy and social justice mean today.
Paperback: 488 pages
Publisher: Rea Sea Press; 1st Rea Sea Press, Inc. Ed edition (October 2001)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds