An Essay on Revolution and Constitutionalism
Elgar Monographs in Constitutional and Administrative Law series
As we argued in the Introduction, the concept of revolution has reemerged in political theory as a result of the ‘Color Revolutions’ in some nations of the former Soviet Union and – our concern here – as a result of some of the events known, perhaps inaccurately in retrospect, as the Arab Spring. As we saw, Arendt defined violence as conceptually necessary for a revolution. The events of the Arab Spring suggest that – in part because of the development of new information and communication technologies such as Twitter, Facebook, and similar social media – revolutions can now occur without violence on the revolutionaries’ part. The forces of the existing regime may of course respond to revolutionary challenges with violence, and the revolutionaries may anticipate that result. But, we believe, responsive violence of that sort was not what Arendt built into her definition of revolution. New information and communication and technologies have facilitated the access revolutionaries have to support in the form of encouragement from around the world, and thereby opened new possibilities for sharing revolutionary ideas and ideals globally. Internet platforms and the new ad hoc e-devices allowed an international non-stop monitoring of the events. This constant and non-stop flow of information allowed the international community to orchestrate and legitimate the imposition of international measures to prevent or condemn responsive violence by the challenged regimes.