Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 3

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Generational cycles and changes in time and space

Mariusz Kowalski

Geographia Polonica (2019) vol. 92, iss. 3, pp. 253-273
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/10.7163/GPol.0148

Abstract

The cyclical character of definite processes observed under both Polish and American conditions in fact emergesas of a universal nature, finding its analogies throughout the world, though first and foremost within the European cultural circle. It is also possible to speak of its far reaching synchronicity, encompassing change on both local and global scales. This is witnessed by successive culminations of cycles with the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, the revolutionary surges of the 1830s and 1840s, the events of the 1860s and1870s, the turbulences and wars of the early 20th century (notably World War I), then World War II, the great transformations of the 1980s, and the recently observed increase in political tension in various parts of theworld (e.g. the Middle East, Ukraine, etc.). In the economic sphere the symptoms are shifts in the business climate, which can even be calculated by reference to quantitative indicators. Then, in the sphere of culture,it is possible to denote successive periods in literature and the arts. In the political sphere in turn, events that shape the state or territorial order are to be observed readily. The present article thus seeks to propose the existence of a universal and synchronous 30-40 years long generation cycle, which manifests itself in real symptoms in the world of politics, and for instance in the cyclicity seen to characterise intensity of changeon the political map of Europe.

Keywords: political life, generations, cyclicality, territorial changes, Poland, Europe, world

Mariusz Kowalski [mar.kow@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland