War cycles

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The theory of war cycles holds that wars happen in cycles.

The cycles of war[edit]

The forerunner of the study of war cycles was Edward R Dewey, with Quincy Wright's monumental A Study of War adding impetus to the discipline.[citation needed] The credibility of the study of cycles was frequently questioned,[by whom?] as this type of inquiry attracts persons with marginal credibility and interest in paranormal issues which may lead to highly subjective conclusions. However, with advent of data science particularly computer algorithms minimizing the dampening effect affecting the abstracted oscillations and facilitating the detection of stochastic drifts, the study of cycles is subject to renewed interest.[1][original research?][not in citation given]

Comparative studies[edit]

Quantitative studies of bellicosity of the Western civilization and the Confucian civilization of the East was pioneered by Lewis Fry Richardson.[peacock term] Richardson's studies led him to the conclusion that "Confucian-Taoist-Buddhist religion of China stands out conspicuously as being either itself a pacifier, or else associated with one" and that "it seems probable that the comparative peacefulness of China prior to 1911 was the result of instruction, and in particular of Confucian instruction."[this quote needs a citation]

For another comparative study that specifies a mathematical model of war cycles and tests it cross-culturally and cross-historically see Secular Cycles and Millennial Trends. Note that this study tries to connect the war cycles with long-term trend dynamics.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See, for example, History & Mathematics: Historical Dynamics and Development of Complex Societies / Ed. by Peter Turchin et al.. Moscow: KomKniga, 2006. ISBN 5-484-01002-0)


Primary sources[edit]

  • McMaster, Jr., R. E. (1978). Cycles of War: The next six years. 
  • Krus, D.J., Nelsen, E.A. & Webb, J.M. (1998) "Recurrence of war in classical East and West civilizations". Psychological Reports 83, 139–143 (Request reprint).
  • Krus, D. J. & Webb, J. M. (2001) "Für oder gegen ein militarisches Eingreifen: Ist die Einstellung zum Krieg eine Variable der Gesinnung oder des sitationsbedingten Gemütszustands?" Zeitschrift fur Sozialpsychologie und Gruppendynamik in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 26.Jg. Heft 2, 3–8 (Request reprint in English, in German).
  • Richardson, L.F. (1960) Statistics of deadly quarrels. Pacific Grove, CA: Boxwood Press.
  • Turchin, P. (2006) War and Peace and War: The Life Cycles of Imperial Nations. Pi Press.
  • Wright, Q. (1965) A study of war (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

External links[edit]