A History of Possible Futures: What history tells us about our Age of Discord CCS 2020

Conference on Complex Systems December 8, 2020 Link


Social and political turbulence in the United States and a number of European countries has been rising in recent years. My research, which combines analysis of historical data with the tools of complexity science, has identified the deep structural forces that work to undermine societal stability and resilience to internal and external shocks. Here I look beneath the surface of day-to-day contentious politics and social unrest, and focus on the negative social and economic trends that explain our current “Age of Discord.” I also discuss the current research by my group aiming to translate these insights from historical analysis into a computational model that would allow us to construct a series of probabilistic scenarios of social breakdown and recovery.


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