Robert Evans

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Michael Stein




The principal focus of this thesis is the examination of revolutionary processes in colonial Vietnam from a theoretical perspective. This involves the critical assessment of the predominant universal or holistic approaches to revolution and the analysis of subtheoretical models of revolution that have been applied to colonial Vietnam. The critique of these conceptual frameworks is examined in the context of the historical development of the Vietnamese revolution. This is followed by an attempt to merge the salient components of two models providing conceptual tools that offer a more convincing explanation of the Vietnamese revolution in its colonial context. This includes three components. First, the world-historical and international dimension of Theda Skocpol's socio-historical approach, which permits a more focused emphasis on the development and nature of the revolutionary movement and the important factors affecting the emergence of revolutionary situations. Second, Charles Tilly's group conflict model adds another important theoretical component by emphasizing the attributes and relationships of revolutionary groups that influence the degree to which revolutionary situations may be exploited. Finally, the concept of ideology and its role in revolutionary process is included in both theoretical frameworks. The combination of the socio-historical and group conflict approaches, with the inclusion of an ideological dimension, is applied to colonial Vietnam and attempts to demonstrate the potential explanatory capacity of this form of syncretic model building.

McMaster University Library

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