Introduction. Modeling and Measuring Cycles, Processes, and Trends.

In History & Mathematics: Trends and Cycles. Volgograd, Russia: Uchitel Publishing House. pp. 5-8 (2014)
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The present Yearbook (which is the fourth in the series) is subtitled Trends & Cycles. Already ancient historians (see, e.g., the second Chapter of Book VI of Polybius' Histories) described rather well the cyclical component of historical dynamics, whereas new interesting analyses of such dynamics also appeared in the Medieval and Early Modern periods (see, e.g., Ibn Khaldūn 1958 [1377], or Machiavelli 1996 [1531] 1). This is not surprising as the cyclical dynamics was dominant in the agrarian social systems. With modernization, the trend dynamics became much more pronounced and these are trends to which the students of modern societies pay more attention. Note that the term trend – as regards its contents and application – is tightly connected with a formal mathematical analysis. Trends may be described by various equations – linear, exponential, power-law, etc. On the other hand, the cliodynamic research has demonstrated that the cyclical historical dynamics can be also modeled mathematically in a rather effective way (see, e.g., Usher 1989; Chu and Lee 1994; Turchin 2003, 2005a, 2005b; Turchin and Korotayev 2006; Turchin and Nefedov 2009; Nefedov 2004; Korotayev and Komarova 2004; Korotayev, Malkov, and Khaltourina 2006; Korotayev and Khaltourina 2006; Korotayev 2007; Grinin 2007), whereas the trend and cycle components of historical dynamics turn out to be of equal importance.

Author's Profile

Leonid Grinin
National Research University Higher School of Economics


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