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Report2022Open access

A Theory Kit for World History

Myrdal, Janken


This report presents a “kit” of theories regarding major processes in human history formed into a whole, a “theory kit”, with the aim to understand how these processes unfold over thousands of years. The theory kit has an underlying fundamental theoretical approach concerning dialectical, contradictory, processes as a core of the complex matrix that shapes human history. In the kit, history is presented in three spheres that are given equal importance: material culture, social structure and societal mentality. An enigma in world history is the common rhythm: different parts of the world tend to move at the same time and in the same direction. The claim here is that the enormous interacting complexity is one explanation of this relative unity in change. In the theory kit a number of issues are discussed, such as: Axial Ages, class struggle, empires, expansion-stagnation-crisis, agricultural world systems, technological complex(es), mentality world systems, invention-innovation.

Published in

2022, number: 7
ISBN: 978-91-576-9925-1, eISBN: 978-91-576-9926-8
Publisher: Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences