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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Demographic Structural Theory: 25 Years On

  • Author(s): Goldstone, Jack A.
  • et al.
Abstract

I am grateful to Cliodynamics for this special issue revisiting the ideas put forth in Revolution and Rebellion in the Early Modern World (Goldstone 1991, 2016) a quarter century ago. The two things that one could hope for in advancing any theory are that it proves capable of being advanced and enriched by other scholars, and that it proves capable of being applied in new ways and to new phenomena that were not anticipated. This issue gives examples of both, and shows how scholars are even now only beginning to tap the possibilities of Demographic Structural Theory (DST) in explaining politics, history, and long-term economic trends.

In this essay, I will tell the story of how demographic structural theory was conceived, relate its early reception among scholars, and comment on the important contributions by other scholars to this special issue.

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