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Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  4 reviews
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 dyn ...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published October 19th 2003 by Princeton University Press (first published September 29th 2003)
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Adam
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Having read both War and Peace and War and Secular Cycles, scanning the ToC of this book made it clear I would be seeing the genesis of Turchin's entire cliodynamic hypothesis set all in one place. What wasn't obvious was that there's really nothing more to this than what those books present in more detail and with more confidence. It feels like this original book has been made obsolete. Turchin is an odd, terse writer by habit and only does better when he feels obliged to, which never happens i ...more
Daniel Barker
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating book. Peter Turchin developed the field of Cliodynamics.
Peter Fox
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it
For me there are few more interesting choices in life than finding an author and a way of viewing life that changes and alters your own. Moore, Marx, Darwin and Diamond now have a new some new competition on the block in the form of Peter Turchin.
When i first read an article on International Relations that looked at the more obscure and or scientific theories that are used in trying to break down International Relations, Turchin's Historical Dynamics stood out among the rest. The article essenti
...more
Tyler
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a niche book - the author proposes to apply mathematical formulas to historical questions of the rise and fall of agrarian states.

I was able to follow enough of the math to find it interesting, though not all of it. For the sociology, I found myself far more interested in the unstated assumptions - basically that a given state or polity seems driven to expand at the expense of neighbors; all of the theorizing is about which factors contribute to successful expansion (or unsuccessful p
...more
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