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.



Key Outputs

Academic Publications

Hoyer, Daniel, James S Bennett, Samantha Holder, Robert Howard, Jill Levine, and Peter Turchin. Forthcoming. “Navigating Polycrisis: Long-Run Socio-Cultural Factors Shape Response to Changing Climate.” Edited by Anne C Pisor, J. Stephen Lansing, and Kate Magargal. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B Special Issue: Climate change adaptation needs a science of culture.


Orlandi, Georg, Daniel Hoyer, Zhao Hongjun, James S Bennett, Majid Benam, Kathryn Kohn, and Peter Turchin. In Preparation. “Structural-Demographic Analysis of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) Collapse in China Edit Paper.” Preprint available here:


Hoyer, Daniel, James S. Bennett, Harvey Whitehouse, Pieter François, Kevin Feeney, Jill Levine, Jenny Reddish, Donagh Davis, and Peter Turchin. In Preparation. “Flattening the Curve: Learning the Lessons of World History to Mitigate Societal Crises.” Preprint available here:


Hoyer, Daniel. Forthcoming. “Decline and Fall, Growth and Spread, or Resilience? Approaches to Studying How and Why Societies Change.” Journal of World History 34 (4). Preprint available here:

Lectures and Popular Media

"History of the Near Future". Keynote lecture by Daniel Hoyer and Peter Turchin. Disrupting Politics seminar hosted by the Centre for Digital Technology and Management and Technische Universität München, Sept. 22, 2021.

Daniel Hoyer - Figuring Out the Past: The 3,495 Vital Statistics that Explain World History” The Dissenter interview with Daniel Hoyer, July 16 2021

Big Data and History.” Interview with Daniel Hoyer and Peter Turchin on the History Hit podcast with Dan Snow. Wednesday December 9, 2020.