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Analysis of Power-Structure Fluctuations in the “Longue Durée” of the South Asian World System

  • Author(s): Wilkinson, David
  • Tsirel, Sergey V.
  • et al.
Abstract

A time series of political power configurations of the Indic world system 500 BC — AD 1800 is examined by way of Poisson process analysis, phase transition analysis, Markov process analysis, mathematical modeling and simulation, information theory, analysis of autocorrelation, periodogrammetry, and time-spectral analysis (including epoch superposition). The Indic system displays an unusual propensity toward bipolarity and unipolarity. The behavior of the Indic world system at first sight resembles a Poisson process in which the age of a configuration is irrelevant to its stability. However, the uneven stability of Indic configurations reveals a first-order Markov process at work, within a new sort of longue durée: extremely long-term rules of political change, durable over 2000 years, which seem to route all power structure transitions to, from, and through bipolarity and unipolarity. No progression is found, but rather temporal symmetry. However, upon spectral analysis, several periodicities, both long (300-400 years) and short (1, 2 and 3 generations) are found in the data, and proposed for historical examination.

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