Princeton Department of Politics doctoral student Killian B. Clarke has a new article forthcoming in the Cambridge University Press journal World Politics entitled “Social Forces and Regime Change: Beyond Class Analysis.” (World Politics 69 (3): 1-34.)
This article discusses three recent books that analyze patterns of political conflict and regime change in postcolonial Asia and Africa using a social forces approach to political analysis. The social forces tradition, originally pioneered by Barrington Moore, studies the social origins and political consequences of struggles between social groups whose members hold shared identities and interests. The works under review examine, respectively, the varied regime trajectories of Southeast Asia’s states, divergent regime outcomes in India and Pakistan, and the institutional origins of social cleavages and political conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. Although historically the social forces paradigm has focused on conflict between class actors, the author argues that these three works fruitfully extend the social forces approach to encompass struggles between nonclass social groups, including those defined along the lines of ethnicity, religion, nationality, region, and family. This pluralized version of the social forces approach is better suited to studying patterns of regime change in Asia and Africa, where the paradigm has been less frequently applied than it has been to cases in Europe and Latin America.
Killian is a political science doctoral student with a sub-field specialization in Comparative Politics and a regional focus on the Middle East, working on the origins and consequences of grassroots movements and bottom-up mobilization, and specifically their contribution to transformative political events like revolution and regime change.
His description of his dissertation and further bio:
In my dissertation I consider why some political regimes established in the aftermath of successful revolutions succumb to counterrevolutions. I examine in detail the case of Egypt’s 2011 revolution and 2013 counterrevolution, and compare Egypt’s trajectory to other cases of successful revolution across space and time.
In past research I have studied other instances of protest and resistance in the Middle East, including political organizing and informal leadership among Syrian refugees, the dynamics of mobilization in the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, and the Egyptian pro-democracy movement Kefaya.
My work has been published in a number of forums including World Politics, Comparative Politics, Mobilization, and Middle East Report. I hold an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from NYU and a BA from Harvard University.