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Strong States, Weak States: The Role of the State in Revolution

Evenly B. Davidheiser
Comparative Politics
Vol. 24, No. 4 (Jul., 1992), pp. 463-475
DOI: 10.2307/422155
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/422155
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Strong States, Weak States: The Role of the State in Revolution
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Abstract

Past studies addressing the role of the state in revolution have argued that weak states are most often associated with revolution. This article argues the converse—that strong states are more likely to be associated with revolution than are weak ones. The argument is founded on a clear definition of state strength based on three criteria: the depth of penetration of society by policy institutions, the breadth of penetration of society by policy institutions, and the penetration of the state by society, or permeability. The argument is buttressed by case studies of Russia (1870-1917), Germany (1871-1933), and Sweden (1870-1932).

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