The limits of Terror: The French Revolution, rights and democratic transition

Livesey, Jim (2009) The limits of Terror: The French Revolution, rights and democratic transition. Thesis Eleven, 97 (1). pp. 64-80. ISSN 0725-5136

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Abstract

The French Revolution has ceased to be the paradigm case of progressive social revolution. Historians increasingly argue that the heart of the revolutionary experience was the Terror and that the Terror prefigured 20thcentury totalitarianism. This article contests that view and argues that totalitarianism is too blunt a category to distinguish between varying experiences of revolution and further questions if revolutionary outcomes are ideologically determined. It argues that by widening the set of revolutions to include 17th and 18th century cases, as well as the velvet revolutions of the 1990s, we can reinterpret the French Revolution as a characteristic case of democratic transition with particular features.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DC History of France
Depositing User: Jim Livesey
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:15
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2012 08:29
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15450
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