Jared Diamond and Peter Turchin: Two Contemoprary Theories of Social Collapse Cover Image

Џаред Дајмонд и Питер Турчин: две савремене теорије друштвеног колапса
Jared Diamond and Peter Turchin: Two Contemoprary Theories of Social Collapse

Author(s): Aleksandar Saša Gajić
Subject(s): Social Theory
Published by: Матица српска

Summary/Abstract: Theories of social collapse are not only the views that characterize “societies deep in crisis”, but rather an expression of lack of belief in prosperity and central importance of the civilization in which we live. These theories follow processes of degradation of human societies, the decline of civilization`s powers and the loss of its cultural values resulting in their complete disappearance. This paper defines the subject of study and provides an overview of the history of these theories and their contemporary types by taking the main causes of collapse criteria as the basis for theory building. After the review of contemporary multi-factor analysis of collapse, mainly within the science of complex systems, full attention is focused on two atypical, yet very productive, contemporary theories of social collapse that are elaborated in detail: Jared Diamond`s theory, which studies social collapses by observing relations of other variables that can lead to collapse with environmental problems as central; and Peter Turchin`s theory which, revitalizing with modern scientific achievements Ibn Khaldun`s classical theory of “asabia” (group feeling, spirit of community), sees social collapses as a consequence of the decline of cohesion provided by asabia. The final part of the work gives a critical review of these two theories and their relation with classical theories of social collapse (primarily those of Arnold Toynbee) and points to their mutual productive complementarity.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 146
  • Page Range: 85-104
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Serbian