The current Arab ‘revolutions’, pose anew some venerable questions of revolutionary transformation, not least whether they will result in fundamental changes to economic life in the region or, as Antonio Gramsci might have recognised, a restoration of the old political order.

In 1917 one rather renowned contemporary revolutionary figure, V. I. Lenin, opined that, ‘The basic question of every revolution is that of state power’. So what makes a revolution; and can the events in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and possibly elsewhere in the Middle East be seen in revolutionary terms?

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