Peter Turchin, an entomologist-turned-historian, offers insight into the battle between elites
Peter Turchin is not the first entomologist to cross over to human behaviour: during a lecture in 1975, famed biologist E O Wilson had a pitcher of water tipped on him for extrapolating the study of ant social structures to our own.
It’s a reaction that Turchin, an expert-on-pine-beetles-turned-data-scientist and modeller, has yet to experience. But his studies at the University of Connecticut into how human societies evolve have lately gained wider currency; in particular, an analysis that interprets worsening social unrest in the 2020s as an intra-elite battle for wealth and status.
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