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End Times: Elites, Counter-Elites and the Path of Political Disintegration

by Peter Turchin

ISBN: 9780141999289

THE THOUGHT BOOK OF THE YEAR, THE TIMESA GUARDIAN BOOK OF THE YEAR'Game of Thrones-style intra-elite conflict meets big data' TLS'Extraordinary. . .



the culmination of many years of highly original and innovative work' BloombergOne of the most iconoclastic thinkers of our time offers a brilliant new theory of how society works What leads to political turbulence and social breakdown? How do elites maintain their dominant position? And why do ruling classes sometimes suddenly lose their grip on power?For decades, complexity scientist Peter Turchin has been studying world history like no-one else. Assembling vast databases mined from 10,000 years of human activity, and then developing new models, he has transformed the way we learn from the past. End Times is the result: a ground-breaking account of how society works.


The lessons, he argues, are clear. When the balance of power between the ruling class and the majority tips too far in favour of elites, income inequality surges. The rich get richer, the poor further impoverished.


As more people try to join the elite, frustration with the establishment brims over, often with disastrous consequences. Elite overproduction led to state breakdown in imperial China, in medieval France, in the American Civil War - and it is happening now. But while we are far along the path toward violent political rupture, Turchin's models also light the way to a brighter future.


Drawing insight from those occasions in history where the balance was restored, End Times also points towards a different future: an escape from the patterns of the past. BEST BOOKS OF SUMMER 2023: THE GUARDIAN * THE TIMES * SUNDAY TIMES

368 pages.

€ 13.75 

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Date of Publication: 07/03/2024

  
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