Consequences of Crisis

Tipping the Scales of Societal Dynamics Towards Less Catastrophic Outcomes From Major Global Stressors

While the scope and interconnectedness of our current crises are perhaps unique to these turbulent times, societal collapse, polarization and fragmentation, eruptions of civil violence, and even environmental catastrophe have been recurrent challenges since humans began to form large-scale societies over 6,000 years ago. The Consequnces of Crisis project seeks to learn history’s lessons through a rigorous assessment of past cases of crises, documenting the range of outcomes that societies have experienced.

Utilizing the innovative longitudinal dynamic analyses pioneered by Seshat: Global History Databank, we aim to pinpoint the leverage points that can tip the scales from the more devastating to the less disruptive consequences. Our data-driven approach reveals not only common patterns in societal dynamics, but highlights also the critical differences between societies and the unique challenges they each face. Our research is geared towards academics, policy-makers, social justice movement leaders, and other stakeholders through detailed analyses and guidelines that we will develop to translate the insights from historical study to useful, much-needed tools to help navigate our present. This research is funded by a V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, Cultural Resilience and Global Leadership under the Condition of Environmental Breakdown program grant.