The “Law” of Uneven and Combined Development: Part 1

Sources and Components

In: East Central Europe
Neil Davidson University of Glasgow,

Search for other papers by Neil Davidson in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


Since the 1990s there has been an upsurge of academic interest in Trotsky’s concept of uneven and combined development, but relatively little attention has been paid to its intellectual antecedents. This first of two articles will reconstruct the sources and components of uneven and combined development, in particular the strategy of permanent revolution, the conditions for which it was intended as an explanation, and the theory of uneven development, which Trotsky had to extend in order to provide that explanation. The article moves between the concepts of permanent revolution and uneven development, tracing their historical development from emergence in the eighteenth century until the era of the first Russian Revolution. By this point a relationship between the two had begun to be established by Marxists on the centre and left of the Second International, and in turn made possible the formulation of the “law” of uneven and combined development, which will be discussed in the second article.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 763 73 3
Full Text Views 421 8 0
PDF Views & Downloads 225 12 1