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Главная arrow English arrow TURCHIN: Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall
TURCHIN: Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall Версия в формате PDF 
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Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall

Historical Dynamics: Why States Rise and Fall by Peter Turchin. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Cover of Historical Dynamics
Cover of Historical Dynamics



List of Figures viii
List of Tables x
Preface xi
Chapter 1. Statement of the Problem 1
1.1 Why Do We Need a Mathematical Theory in History? 1
1.2 Historical Dynamics as a Research Program 3
1.2.1 Delimiting the Set of Questions 4
1.2.2 AF ocus on Agrarian Polities 4
1.2.3 The Hierarchical Modeling Approach 5
1.2.4 Mathematical Framework 5
1.3 Summary 7
Chapter 2. Geopolitics 9
2.1 APrimer of Dynamics 9
2.1.1 Boundless Growth 9
2.1.2 Equilibrial Dynamics 11
2.1.3 Boom/Bust Dynamics and Sustained Oscillations 12
2.1.4 Implications for Historical Dynamics 14
2.2 The Collins Theory of Geopolitics 16
2.2.1 Modeling Size and Distance Effects 16
2.2.2 Positional Effects 20
2.2.3 Conflict-legitimacy Dynamics 23
2.3 Conclusion: Geopolitics as a First-order Process 25
2.4 Summary 27
Chapter 3. Collective Solidarity 29
3.1 Groups in Sociology 29
3.1.1 Groups as Analytical Units 29
3.1.2 Evolution of Solidaristic Behaviors 31
3.1.3 Ethnic Groups and Ethnicity 33
3.1.4 The Social Scale 34
3.1.5 Ethnies 36
3.2 Collective Solidarity and Historical Dynamics 36
3.2.1 Ibn Khaldun’s Theory 38
3.2.2 Gumilev’s Theory 40
3.2.3 The Modern Context 42
3.3 Summary 47
Chapter 4. The Metaethnic Frontier Theory 50
4.1 Frontiers as Incubators of Group Solidarity 50
4.1.1 Factors Causing Solidarity Increase 51
4.1.2 Imperial Boundaries and Metaethnic Fault Lines 53
4.1.3 Scaling-up Structures 57
4.1.4 Placing the Metaethnic Frontier Theory in Context 59
4.2 Mathematical Theory 63
4.2.1 ASimple Analytical Model 64
4.2.2 ASpatially Explicit Simulation 68
4.3 Summary 75
Chapter 5. An Empirical Test of the Metaethnic Frontier Theory 78
5.1 Setting Up the Test 78
5.1.1 Quantifying Frontiers 79
5.1.2 Polity Size 81
5.2 Results 83
5.2.1 Europe: 0–1000 c.e. 83
5.2.2 Europe: 1000–1900 c.e. 86
5.3 Positional Advantage? 89
5.4 Conclusion: The Making of Europe 91
5.5 Summary 92
Chapter 6. Ethnokinetics 94
6.1 Allegiance Dynamics of Incorporated Populations 94
6.2 Theory 95
6.2.1 Nonspatial Models of Assimilation 95
6.2.2 Spatially Explicit Models 99
6.3 Empirical Tests 104
6.3.1 Conversion to Islam 105
6.3.2 The Rise of Christianity 111
6.3.3 The Growth of the Mormon Church 112
6.4 Conclusion: Data Support the Autocatalytic Model 113
6.5 Summary 116
Chapter 7. The Demographic-Structural Theory 118
7.1 Population Dynamics and State Breakdown 118
7.2 Mathematical Theory 121
7.2.1 The Basic Demographic-Fiscal Model 121
7.2.2 Adding Class Structure 127
7.2.3 Models for Elite Cycles 131
7.2.4 Models for the Chinese Dynastic Cycle 137
7.2.5 Summing up Theoretical Insights 138
7.3 Empirical Applications 140
7.3.1 Periodic Breakdowns of Early Modern States 140
7.3.2 The Great Wave 143
7.3.3 After the Black Death 145
7.4 Summary 148
Chapter 8. Secular Cycles in Population Numbers 150
8.1 Introduction 150
8.2 “Scale” and “Order” in Human Population Dynamics 150
8.3 Long-Term Empirical Patterns 155
8.3.1 Reconstructions of Historical Populations 155
8.3.2 Archaeological Data 161
8.4 Population Dynamics and Political Instability 164
8.5 Summary 167
Chapter 9. Case Studies 170
9.1 France 170
9.1.1 The Frontier Origins 170
9.1.2 Secular Waves 176
9.1.3 Summary 184
9.2 Russia 184
9.2.1 The Frontier Origins 184
9.2.2 Secular Waves 191
9.2.3 Summary 196
Chapter 10. Conclusion 197
10.1 Overview of Main Developments 197
10.1.1 Asabiya and Metaethnic Frontiers 197
10.1.2 Ethnic Assimilation 198
10.1.3 Demographic-Structural Theory 199
10.1.4 Geopolitics 199
10.2 Combining Different Mechanisms into an Integrated Whole 200
10.3 Broadening the Focus of Investigation 203
10.4 Toward Theoretical Cliodynamics? 204
Appendix A. Mathematical Appendix 205
A.1 Translating the Hanneman Model into Differential Equations 205
A.2 The Spatial Simulation of the Frontier Hypothesis 206
A.3 Demographic-Structural Models with Class Structure 208
A.4 Models for Elite Cycles 212
Appendix B. Data Summaries for the Test of the Metaethnic Frontier Theory 214
B.1 Brief Descriptions of “Cultural Regions” 214
B.2 Quantification of Frontiers 215
B.3 Quantification of Polity Sizes: The First Millennium c.e. 224
B.4 Quantification of Polity Sizes: The Second Millennium c.e. 225
Bibliography 226
Index 243

The problem

Many historical processes are dynamic: growth and decline of populations, territorial
expansion and contraction of empires, political centralization/decentralization trends, and the
spread of world religions, to name just a few examples. A general approach to studying
dynamical systems is to advance rival hypotheses based on specific mechanisms, translate the
hypotheses into mathematical models, and contrast model predictions with empirical patterns.
Mathematical modeling is a key ingredient in this research program because quantitative
dynamical phenomena, often affected by complex feedbacks, cannot be fully understood at a
purely verbal level. Another important ingredient is the full use of statistical techniques (such as
time-series analysis) for quantitative and rigorous comparison between model-predicted and
observed patterns. This general approach has proved to be extremely successful in natural
sciences. Can it be instrumental in increasing our understanding of historical processes?
Historical Dynamics is an attempt to answer this question. The specific problem chosen
for analysis is the territorial dynamics of agrarian states. In other words, can we understand why
some polities at certain times expand, while at other times contract? The advantage of focusing on
territorial expansion/contraction is that we have reasonably accurate empirical data on this aspect
of historical dynamics (historical atlases). The focus on agrarian polities is motivated by the
extent of empirical material (roughly, from the 3rd millennium BCE to 1800 CE), and greater
simplicity of these societies compared to modern ones, potentially making them easier to
understand and model.

From theories to empirical tests

Four theories were used as sources of mechanisms potentially explaining territorial
dynamics. The first is the geopolitical model of Randall Collins (geopolitical resources, logistic
loads, and the positional “marchland” advantage). This theory has been very clearly formulated
and required minimal work to translate into a mathematical model. The second one, by contrast,
is an original development. Starting from ideas of the 14th century thinker Ibn Khaldun and
recent developments in sociobiology, I advance a theory attempting to explain why the capacity
for collective action may vary among different societies. Consideration of factors that are
expected to increase or decrease the capacity for collective action leads to the prediction that most
aggressive polities (that is, polities characterized by high expansion rates) should originate from
areas where frontiers of large empires coincide with intense ethnic boundaries (termed
“metaethnic frontiers”). The third theory (really, a collection of alternative models) addresses the
issue of ethnic assimilation/religious conversion dynamics. Finally, the fourth theory focuses on
the interaction between population dynamics and sociopolitical stability. The connection between
population growth and state breakdown is based on the demographic-structural model of Jack
Goldstone. To this model, I add the feedback mechanism, postulating how state breakdown and
resulting sociopolitical instability negatively affect population numbers. The four theories address
somewhat different aspects of historical dynamics, and thus logically are not mutually exclusive.
However, alternative hypotheses about particular empirical patterns can be derived from them
(for example, the contrast between the “marchland” and the “metaethnic frontier” effects, see
Empirical results can be summarized as follows. A comparison between dynamics
predicted by geopolitical models and expansion/contraction curves of historical states reveals a
qualitative mismatch: geopolitical models predict an abrupt collapse of large empires, but slow
declines of more than a century are quite frequent (about half the cases in Rein Taagepera’s
database). This notion of the temporal scale of declines is made more precise with the concept of
process order from dynamical systems theory. The observation that geopolitical models cannot
predict the observed slow declines does not mean that mechanisms postulated by these models do
not operate in real societies. Rather, the conclusion is that the pure geopolitical theory provides
(at best) a partial explanation of empirical patterns.
The metaethnic frontier model was tested on historical material for Europe between 0 and
1900 CE. Two variables were constructed: (1) the location, duration, and intensity of metaethnic
frontiers, and (2) the spatial origin, and timing and rate of expansion of territorial states larger
than 0.1 Mm2. A statistical test revealed a very high degree of association between the two
variables, providing strong empirical support for the metaethnic frontier model. Interestingly,
applying the same analytical machinery to test the marchland effect, revealed no statistical
association between protected position and propensity to expand.
Models of ethnic assimilation/religious conversion were tested by comparing their
predictions to historical rates of expansion of Christianity, Islam, and Mormons. The tests showed
that one model fitted all datasets much better than the two alternatives. The “winner” also
happened to be the most theoretically sound model. Interestingly, the best model fitted one
dataset (conversion to Islam) very well, with better than 99% accuracy, a result quite remarkable
for social science applications.
Finally, the predictions of the demographic-structural theory (periodic waves of state
breakdown accompanied by oscillations in population numbers) were tested by conducting a
survey of long-term fluctuation patterns in historical populations. The results tended to support
the theoretical predictions, at least for regions and periods for which we have reasonably detailed
data. However, historical reconstruction of population dynamics are notoriously affected by the
subjective element, while the majority of archeological data are not yet precise enough to provide
a rigorous test of the theory. Nevertheless, interesting results were obtained in one case (China),
where data on both population dynamics and sociopolitical instability were available. Formal
methods of time-series analysis revealed a strong association between the two variables,
supporting the idea that they are dynamically interlinked (as is postulated by the theory).

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