Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


Cliodynamics bannerUC Riverside

Toward Cliodynamics – an Analytical, Predictive Science of History


This article responds to those who think that a science of history is in principle impossible. First, I tackle the issue of prediction and point out that it is not limited to forecasting the future. Scientific prediction is also (an much more usefully) employed in empirical tests of scientific theories. Next, I switch from conceptual to empirical issues, and review evidence for general empirical regularities. I also discuss some recent examples of using scientific prediction in testing theories about historical dynamics. I conlcude by pointing out that we now have the right quantitative tools and, even more important, a growing corpus of historical data for testing theories. An analytical, predictive history, or cliodynamics, is eminently possible.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View