Political midlife crisis  

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A political midlife crisis is a turning point or watershed moment in the fortunes of a governance entity such as an empire, nation, faction, political party, or international alliance. The concept was first advanced by Arab thinker Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406), who compared an individual's decline after reaching the age of forty, with the sedentary decline that occurs in a dynasty. More recently, political scientist Joshua S Goldstein has used the concept in his 1988 book, Long Cycles: Prosperity and War in the Modern Age.

A political midlife crisis occurs following a prolonged golden age of optimism, economic progress, conquest, or other success, and typically features attacks on, or threats toward, a rival power. The attacks are vigorously opposed, ending in stalemate or defeat.

The term "political midlife crisis" adverts to the concept of "midlife crisis", which describes a supposed crisis in a middle-aged person's identity and self-confidence, caused by events that highlight the person's aging, mortality, and any perceived deficiencies in life attainments. The concept of political midlife crisis applies the concept of midlife crisis to the concepts of "social organism" and "body politic", which view an entire human society as a kind of single super-organism.

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