In Contention volume 5, issue 2, Benjamin Abrams interviewed
the political theorist John Dunn on the topic of modern revolutions.
In the interview, Dunn advanced the view that the “Epoch
of Revolution” had ended by 1989 and that what many scholars
called revolutions today were simply instances of regime collapse.
The interview received a lot of attention from scholars and practitioners
including Hugo Slim. Slim challenged Dunn’s concept of
revolution in this issue, and Dunn responded defending his ideas.
This article attempts to tease out the differences underlying the
two scholars’ disagreement as to whether the Epoch of Revolution
has truly passed. The article proposes that while processual
approaches (such as Slim’s) conceive of revolution primarily as a
political means, Dunn’s “programmatic” approach to revolution
conceives of it as not only a means but also a political end. The
article also considers the implications of Dunn’s theory of revolution,
and the representative challenges of academic interviewing.