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Historical Dynamics : Why States Rise and Fall - Peter Turchin

Historical Dynamics

Why States Rise and Fall

Hardcover Published: 19th October 2003
ISBN: 9780691116693
Number Of Pages: 264

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Many 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.

Industry Reviews

"An important, original, and timely book--richly detailed and beautifully thought out."--Jack A. Goldstone, University of California, Davis
"This book is clearly the state of the art in formal modeling and computer simulation of long-term historical changes in territorial states. Elegantly formulated and clearly written, it takes an important topic to a new level of formal sophistication."--Randall Collins, University of Pennsylvania

List of Figuresp. viii
List of Tablesp. x
Prefacep. xi
Statement of the Problemp. 1
Why Do We Need a Mathematical Theory in History?p. 1
Historical Dynamics as a Research Programp. 3
Delimiting the Set of Questionsp. 4
AFocus on Agrarian Politiesp. 4
The Hierarchical Modeling Approachp. 5
Mathematical Frameworkp. 5
Summaryp. 7
Geopoliticsp. 9
APrimer of Dynamicsp. 9
Boundless Growthp. 9
Equilibrial Dynamicsp. 11
Boom/Bust Dynamics and Sustained Oscillationsp. 12
Implications for Historical Dynamicsp. 14
The Collins Theory of Geopoliticsp. 16
Modeling Size and Distance Effectsp. 16
Positional Effectsp. 20
Conflict-legitimacy Dynamicsp. 23
Conclusion: Geopolitics as a First-order Processp. 25
Summaryp. 27
Collective Solidarityp. 29
Groups in Sociologyp. 29
Groups as Analytical Unitsp. 29
Evolution of Solidaristic Behaviorsp. 31
Ethnic Groups and Ethnicityp. 33
The Social Scalep. 34
Ethniesp. 36
Collective Solidarity and Historical Dynamicsp. 36
Ibn Khaldun's Theoryp. 38
Gumilev's Theoryp. 40
The Modern Contextp. 42
Summaryp. 47
The Metaethnic Frontier Theoryp. 50
Frontiers as Incubators of Group Solidarityp. 50
Factors Causing Solidarity Increasep. 51
Imperial Boundaries and Metaethnic Fault Linesp. 53
Scaling-up Structuresp. 57
Placing the Metaethnic Frontier Theory in Contextp. 59
Mathematical Theoryp. 63
A Simple Analytical Modelp. 64
A Spatially Explicit Simulationp. 68
Summaryp. 75
An Empirical Test of the Metaethnic Frontier Theoryp. 78
Setting Up the Testp. 78
Quantifying Frontiersp. 79
Polity Sizep. 81
Resultsp. 83
Europe: 0 -1000 c.e.83
Europe: 1000 -1900 c.e.86
Positional Advantage?p. 89
Conclusion: The Making of Europep. 91
Summaryp. 92
Ethnokineticsp. 94
Allegiance Dynamics of Incorporated Populationsp. 94
Theoryp. 95
Nonspatial Models of Assimilationp. 95
Spatially Explicit Modelsp. 99
Empirical Testsp. 104
Conversion to Islamp. 105
The Rise of Christianityp. 111
The Growth of the Mormon Churchp. 112
Conclusion: Data Support the Autocatalytic Modelp. 113
Summaryp. 116
The Demographic-Structural Theoryp. 118
Population Dynamics and State Breakdownp. 118
Mathematical Theoryp. 121
The Basic Demographic-Fiscal Modelp. 121
Adding Class Structurep. 127
Models for Elite Cyclesp. 131
Models for the Chinese Dynastic Cyclep. 137
Summing up Theoretical Insightsp. 138
Empirical Applicationsp. 140
Periodic Breakdowns of Early Modern Statesp. 140
The Great Wavep. 143
After the Black Deathp. 145
Summaryp. 148
Secular Cycles in Population Numbersp. 150
Introductionp. 150
"Scale" and "Order" in Human Population Dynamicsp. 150
Long-Term Empirical Patternsp. 155
Reconstructions of Historical Populationsp. 155
Archaeological Datap. 161
Population Dynamics and Political Instabilityp. 164
Summaryp. 167
Case Studiesp. 170
Francep. 170
The Frontier Originsp. 170
Secular Wavesp. 176
Summaryp. 184
Russiap. 184
The Frontier Originsp. 184
Secular Wavesp. 191
Summaryp. 196
Conclusionp. 197
Overview of Main Developmentsp. 197
Asabiya and Metaethnic Frontiersp. 197
Ethnic Assimilationp. 198
Demographic-Structural Theoryp. 199
Geopoliticsp. 199
Combining Different Mechanisms into an Integrated Wholep. 200
Broadening the Focus of Investigationp. 203
Toward Theoretical Cliodynamics?p. 204
p. 205
Translating the Hanneman Mod
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691116693
ISBN-10: 0691116695
Series: Princeton Studies in Complexity
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 264
Published: 19th October 2003
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.52