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The Collapse of Complex Societies

By: Joseph A Tainter(Author)
260 pages
The Collapse of Complex Societies
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  • The Collapse of Complex Societies ISBN: 9780521386739 Paperback Mar 1990 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
Price: £48.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

Any explanation of political collapse carries lessons not just for the study of ancient societies, but for the members of all complex societies in both the present and future. Dr Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than 2000 years of explanations. He then develops a new and far-reaching theory that accounts for collapse among diverse kinds of societies, evaluating his model and clarifying the processes of disintegration by detailed studies of the Roman, Mayan and Chacoan collapses.



1. Introduction to collapse
2. The nature of complex societies
3. The study of collapse
4. Understanding collapse: the marginal productivity of sociopolitical change
5. Evaluation: complexity and marginal returns in collapsing societies
6. Summary and implications


Customer Reviews

By: Joseph A Tainter(Author)
260 pages
Media reviews

"Tainter's model accommodates all levels of complexity and all kinds of evidence. It deserves to be widely read."

"Tainter's is an attractive and compelling thesis, of a genre which is nearly extinct among domestic historians."
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