1917-2017: Lessons of the Bygone Century
This panel marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution. Thinking of this as a long process, centered on 1917, the experts examine the immediate social movements that led up to regime collapse, the role of World War I, and the longer impact of structural factors and political opposition for the legacies of 1917 and the larger Revolution throughout the twentieth century. Events and their consequences in Russia in February 1917 bear similarities to later color revolutions globally. However, in Russia the struggle for power continued and the new “democratic” power, the Provisional Government, proved vulnerable to ongoing opposition from soldiers returning from their defeat in World War I, peasants who aspired for more land and empowerment in the village, growing demands for autonomy from the borderlands, and an organized revolutionary movement in St Petersburg.
Issues for Discussion
- Did February 1917 provide a model for the color revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe?
- Were living standards actually rising before the Russian Revolution? If so, how can discontent be explained?
- Can it be said that the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its outcomes built on, but also destroyed, 19th century concepts of revolution?
- To what extent does persistent inequality play a role in 20th century revolutions?
- What is the role of power in the process of revolution?
Director, Institute of Russian History, the Russian Academy of Sciences
Carol S. Leonard
Professor, Director, Center for Russian Studies, RANEPA; Emeritus Fellow, St Antony's College, University of Oxford
Head, Federal Archival Agency
Visiting Presidential Professor, City University of New York; Lead Economist, World Bank (1991-2013)
Correspondent Member, the Russian Academy of Sciences; Head, History Informatics Chair, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Chief Researcher, Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences
Emeritus Professor of Russian History, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
Head, Institutional Economics Chair, NES
Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, LSE
Professor, George Bouhe Research Fellow in Russian Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Southern Methodist University