Fall 2023: An Update

Peter Turchin


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The last update on “What I am working on” was posted a year ago,  and it is high time to do another.

Last year was very intense. It started with preparing for the publication of my trade book, End Times, which came out on June 13 in the US and UK. The week before the publication I was in London and Oxford, promoting the book to the UK and European readers. This promotion tour was very intense—I lost count of how many interviews, podcasts, etc I gave. Promotion activities on the US side were similar in “volume”, but thankfully extended over two months, rather than concentrated in a week. Then I went to Africa for a much needed vacation.

Currently I am back in Vienna. As usual, I spend half a year (between mid-September and mid-March) in Austria and the rest of time in Connecticut. I’ve shifted gears from a “book promotion mode” to a “doing research mode.” A lot of work has accumulated while I was busy with the book, and I’ve been trying to get on top of that. As a result, there was little time for writing posts for my blog (alas). On the positive side, my research group, mostly based in Vienna, but with colleagues in UK, Canada, and US, has been making tremendous progress. There are truly awesome developments with Seshat Databank, and the associated CrisisDB. Expect a major update before the end of the year.

Largely thanks to my research assistant, Jakob, we are trying to keep my website updated with various developments. In particular, check the Events tab, which currently lists two upcoming events (and more will be added as their dates solidify).

Jakob has also helpfully collected the links to publications, press articles, etc, appearing over the past two months, which you can find at the end of this post. I’ll try to continue posting such monthly (or, more realistically, bimonthly) updates in the future.

Meanwhile the world is seemingly intent on rolling towards some kind of catastrophic “end times.” There is a lot to say about recent events from a cliodynamic point of view, and I hope to blog more regularly in the future. But catching up with research projects leaves little time or energy for that…

September-October Updates


Press articles: 

Scholarly reviews:

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Steven Moffitt

“End Times” and its predecessor “Ages of Discord”, are two of the most important works in today’s social science, since they set a precedent for analytic analysis of human societies. They explain the natural evolution of societies from socially cohesive beginnings toward socially unstable mid-lives to societal “reshaping” crises. The sad finding is that most previous societal life cycles had crises that included wars, intra societal violence, economic hardships, and unacceptable loss of life. All in all, these works have a good chance of becoming classics.

Leslie Dow

Sadly, all the events are on the wrong side of the Atlantic for me. However, I am looking forward to seeing your take on recent world events. I can’t say I loved End Times, but I appreciate that you are doing this work.

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