Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

Program or Major

Political Science

Faculty Advisor

Jeremy Geddert


To explore the meaning of the term "civilization," the significance and nature of civilizational decline, and the possible means of reversing such declines, it is worthwhile to consult some of the most exhaustive and renowned works on the subject—namely, Arnold Toynbee’s A Study of History and Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West. It will also be useful to consider other works by Samuel Huntington, Adda Bozeman, Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Jefferson, and Şükrü Yazğan. Each thinker’s examination of the term "civilization," the topic of civilizational decline, and the question of recovery varies, but the overlap and disagreement between them provides great insight into each of these matters.