What 25 April was and why it mattered Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2018

start page

  • 20

end page

  • 34


  • 1


  • 34

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0267-5315

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2222-4270


  • This article takes up the conceptual question of how to understand the Carnation Revolution that commenced on 25 April 1974 and the related historical question of the enduring consequences of Portugal's distinctive pathway from dictatorship to democracy. The central argument emphasizes the multiple and overlapping meanings of 25 April: as a liberating coup that ended decades of anti-democratic rule, as the beginning of a transition to democracy, as the foundation for a social revolution that would overturn multiple institutional hierarchies and reconfigure cultural phenomena, and finally as a precondition for a subsequent turn to socialist revolution. The historically unusual intertwining of these analytically distinct processes has provided 25 April with a significance that is reflected not only in the positive legacies to be found within Portugal but also in the contributions of this national case to the inauguration of an ultimately worldwide wave of democratization. KEYWORDS. 25 April, Carnation Revolution, democratization, social revolution, Portugal.