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"Dual power" (Russian: Двоевластие, tr. Dvoyevlastiye) was a term first used by communist Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924)[1] in the Pravda article titled "The Dual Power"[2] which described a situation in the wake of the February Revolution, the first of two Russian Revolutions in 1917. Two powers coexisted with each other and competed for legitimacy: the Soviets (workers' councils), particularly the Petrograd Soviet, and the continuing official state apparatus of the Russian Provisional Government of the Social Revolutionaries.

Lenin argued that this essentially unstable situation constituted a unique opportunity for the Soviets and Bolsheviks to seize power by smashing the weak Provisional Government and establishing themselves as the basis of a new form of state power.

This notion has informed the strategies of subsequent communist-led revolutions elsewhere in the world, including the Chinese Revolution of 1949 led by Mao Zedong (1893–1976) after the Chinese Civil War (1927–1936 and 1946–1949) and in eastern Europe after World War II (1939–1945).

  1. ^ Lenin 1964a; Lenin 1964b; Trotsky 1992, ch. 11.
  2. ^ Lenin, Vladimir (1975). ""The Dual Power"". The Lenin Anthology. London: Norton. pp. 301–304.

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