Challenges and Hopes
Edited By Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi
The Revolution of Dignity in the Context of Theory of Social Revolutions
The actions of civil disobedience which started with the protests of Ukrainian students against the president’s decision not to sign the European Union Association Agreement and grew into opposition to the government have been named “The Revolution of Dignity.” This article examines the aptness of this term from the point of view of the general theory of social revolutions and the international context of these events.
Revolution or Munity?
The first basic question which arises for every politics researcher analyzing the events in Ukraine is: what is actually happening and with what notions should it be characterized? And although the events in Ukraine have been called “The Revolution of Dignity” it is obviously too early to define them by the categories of a social revolution.
There are a lot of definitions for the term “revolution,” but it is possible to summarize them in the following way: “A revolution is a successful attempt to subvert an existing political regime, the fundamental transformation and the legitimization of political power which is implemented by illegal or violent actions of popular movements and at least partly in accordance with the demands made by them.”1
Obviously the current events in Ukraine are aimed not only at changing the power, but first of all at making fundamental social and political ← 83 | 84 → transformations, but time will show the real readiness and ability of the new power to implement in life the slogans of revolution.
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