Detailed analysis of the steady-state and dynamical unstable behavior of single-mode, homogeneously broadened Raman lasers is presented. Bistable features of the Raman emission and its operating conditions are determined from steady-state analysis. Parametrization of the dynamical behavior shows instabilities to exist over a broad range of operation conditions and for broad cavity detuning to the low-frequency side of the gain center where the bistable emission also prevails. Notably, period-doubling routes to chaos and sustained oscillatory behavior in both intensity and phase are found to occur for both good and bad cavity conditions, the dynamics of the phase revealing additional temporal features to that of intensity. © 1991 The American Physical Society.