Princeton University Press, Aug 9, 2009 - Business & Economics - 349 pages
Many historical processes exhibit recurrent patterns of change. Century-long periods of population expansion come before long periods of stagnation and decline; the dynamics of prices mirror population oscillations; and states go through strong expansionist phases followed by periods of state failure, endemic sociopolitical instability, and territorial loss. Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov explore the dynamics and causal connections between such demographic, economic, and political variables in agrarian societies and offer detailed explanations for these long-term oscillations--what the authors call secular cycles.
Secular Cycles elaborates and expands upon the demographic-structural theory first advanced by Jack Goldstone, which provides an explanation of long-term oscillations. This book tests that theory's specific and quantitative predictions by tracing the dynamics of population numbers, prices and real wages, elite numbers and incomes, state finances, and sociopolitical instability. Turchin and Nefedov study societies in England, France, and Russia during the medieval and early modern periods, and look back at the Roman Republic and Empire. Incorporating theoretical and quantitative history, the authors examine a specific model of historical change and, more generally, investigate the utility of the dynamical systems approach in historical applications.
An indispensable and groundbreaking resource for a wide variety of social scientists, Secular Cycles will interest practitioners of economic history, historical sociology, complexity studies, and demography.
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: Secular CyclesUser Review - Stephen - Goodreads
This book exemplifies my type of futures - a grand sweep of human history, a causal model, and a dynamic framework from which we can view our present lives. The first chapter outlines the model and is ... Read full review
Review: Secular CyclesUser Review - Fred R - Goodreads
There are still some very basic questions (how do you define "the elite"? What determines the number of "elite aspirants"? Is the model applicable to a post-agricultural economy? If so, what are we ... Read full review
The Theoretical Background
The Plantagenet Cycle 11501485
The TudorStuart Cycle 14851730
The Capetian Cycle 11501450
The Valois Cycle 14501660
The Republican Cycle 35030 BCE
The Principate Cycle 30 BCE285 CE