In recent years, Bas van Bavel has worked with a group of young researchers on the effect of exogenous shocks on (historical) societies. The research has interfaces with the SCOOP project. Yesterday a book has been published: Disasters and History.
Information from the publisher Cambridge University Press: Disasters and History offers the first comprehensive historical overview of hazards and disasters. Drawing on a range of case studies, including the Black Death, the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 and the Fukushima disaster, the authors examine how societies dealt with shocks and hazards and their potentially disastrous outcomes. They reveal the ways in which the consequences and outcomes of these disasters varied widely not only between societies but also within the same societies according to social groups, ethnicity and gender. They also demonstrate how studying past disasters, including earthquakes, droughts, floods and epidemics, can provide a lens through which to understand the social, economic and political functioning of past societies and reveal features of a society which may otherwise remain hidden from view.
This book, published yesterday, can be read and downloaded here.