Peter Turchin, a professor at the University of Connecticut’s department of ecology and evolutionary biology, warns in a Phys.Org article published this week that society could risk implosion within the decade because of increasing social unrest.
And, no, a collapse wouldn’t necessarily be President-elect Donald Trump’s fault ― though Turchin writes that he sees the businessman’s election win as confirmation that “negative trends seem to be accelerating.” Trump’s campaign marked an “unprecedented collapse of social norms governing civilized discourse,” Turchin adds.
“We should expect many years of political turmoil, peaking in the 2020s,” the cultural evolution researcher writes.
“This is a science-based forecast, not a ‘prophecy. It’s based on solid social science.”
Turchin is a leader in cliodynamics, an interdisciplinary field of study that sees historical events such as the collapse of empires as following predictable mathematical models based on historical data.
The professor has tracked 40 factors in society that hit some kind of turning point in the 1970s. They include such aspects as wealth inequality, stagnating well-being, growing political fragmentation and governmental dysfunction.
Social instability lies ahead, researcher says