Historical Mechanisms: An experimental approach to applying scientific theories to the study of history

Historical Mechanisms argues that scientific method can provide key new insights about events that took place long ago. Taking a fresh approach to historical method and theory, this book contends that there is enough data to show that under certain circumstances societies have behaved, and will continue to behave, in similar ways throughout history. In this book, Andreas D. Boldt discusses the possibility of utilizing natural scientific theories in order to explain historical processes, focusing on the question of how nations and empires rise, succeed, fail and then assume another form in which they begin the cycle again. Scientific methods are utilized metaphorically as a means of establishing connections between events and trends throughout history, and this book argues that these methods can explain historical patterns such as chaos and stability, the relationship between power centres and power vacuums, the necessary conditions for the expansion of empires and the influence of natural and man-made borders. Exploring the ways in which concepts from science can be employed to shed new light on the analysis of historical data, Historical Mechanisms is valuable reading for all scholars of the theory and method of history.