Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Historical DynamicsWhy States Rise and Fall$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Peter Turchin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691180779

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691180779.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The Demographic-Structural Theory

The Demographic-Structural Theory

(p.118) Chapter Seven The Demographic-Structural Theory
Historical Dynamics

Peter Turchin

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Jack Goldstone's demographic-structural theory of state breakdown. It first considers the role of excessive population dynamics in state collapse before introducing a simple mathematical model of the interaction between population dynamics and the fiscal health of the state. This demographic-fiscal model predicts recurrent episodes of state building and population growth followed by state breakdown and population decline. Class structure is then added to the basic model to account for the dynamics of the state, elites, and commoners. The chapter also discusses empirical applications of the demographic-structural theory by focusing on the English Revolution of the seventeenth century and reviews David Hackett Fischer's theory and data dealing with four “great waves” of socioeconomic dynamics in western Europe from the twelfth to the twentieth century. Finally, it analyzes Stuart Borsch's study of Egypt after the Black Death and after the Antonine plagues.

Keywords:   demographic-structural theory, state breakdown, population dynamics, demographic-fiscal model, class structure, elites, commoners, English Revolution, socioeconomic dynamics, Black Death

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.