Why States Rise and Fall
By (author) Peter Turchin
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Historical Dynamics by Peter Turchin
Book DescriptionMany historical processes are dynamic. Populations grow and decline. Empires expand and collapse. Religions spread and wither. Natural scientists have made great strides in understanding dynamical processes in the physical and biological worlds using a synthetic approach that combines mathematical modeling with statistical analyses. Taking up the problem of territorial dynamics--why some polities at certain times expand and at other times contract--this book shows that a similar research program can advance our understanding of dynamical processes in history. Peter Turchin develops hypotheses from a wide range of social, political, economic, and demographic factors: geopolitics, factors affecting collective solidarity, dynamics of ethnic assimilation/religious conversion, and the interaction between population dynamics and sociopolitical stability. He then translates these into a spectrum of mathematical models, investigates the dynamics predicted by the models, and contrasts model predictions with empirical patterns. Turchin's highly instructive empirical tests demonstrate that certain models predict empirical patterns with a very high degree of accuracy. For instance, one model accounts for the recurrent waves of state breakdown in medieval and early modern Europe. And historical data confirm that ethno-nationalist solidarity produces an aggressively expansive state under certain conditions (such as in locations where imperial frontiers coincide with religious divides). The strength of Turchin's results suggests that the synthetic approach he advocates can significantly improve our understanding of historical dynamics.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691116693
(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 29-Sep-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Peter Turchin
Secular Cycles, Hardback (July 2009)
Incorporating theoretical and quantitative history, this book examines a specific model of historical change and, more generally, investigates the utility of the dynamical systems approach in historical applications. It is of interest to practitioners of economic history, historical sociology, complexity studies, and demography.
War and Peace and War, Paperback (March 2007)
Turchin offers a bold, controversial theory of world history, examining amongother topics, how ancient history explains current geopolitics, whether Chinaor Europe can dominate the world, and if America is in decline.
Complex Population Dynamics, Paperback (January 2003)» View all books by Peter Turchin
By bringing together mathematical models, statistical analyses, and field experiments, this book offers a comprehensive synthesis of the theory of population oscillations. It first reviews the conceptual tools that ecologists use to investigate population oscillations and then provides an in-depth discussion of several case studies.
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Author Biography - Peter Turchin
Peter Turchin is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of "Quantitative Analysis of Movement" and "Complex Population Dynamics" (Princeton).
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