Teaching & Researching Big History: Exploring a New Scholarly Field Grinin L.E. This volume starts a series of annual almanacs dedicated to the analysis of economic fluctuations of various lengths, but especially – to the study of large-scale wave-like perturbations of the global socioeconomic realm with a characteristic length of about half a century. These fluctuations, or cycles as preferred by some authors, were named ‘Kondratieff waves’ after the famous Russian scientist Nikolay Kondratieff. In the present publication these waves will be frequently referred also as K-waves for short. The analysis of K-waves allows understanding the long-term dynamics of the World System development, as well as to propose future scenarios about the unfolding of the global economy, for it clarifies much for our understanding of the crises of the past and the current global economic crisis.
Since the seminal works published by Kondratieff, a number of outstanding researchers have made significant contributions to our understanding of the possible factors affecting and provoking long-term fluctuations of human economic affairs. On the other hand, it has become more and more clear that K-waves influence many social-related processes. However, nobody appears to have found yet an entirely satisfactory solution of ‘Kondratieff's mystery’, and it continues to attract researchers. That is why we have decided to try to unite the forces of such researchers around the new almanac.
This first issue offers a wide panorama of views on the Kondratieff waves' phenomenon; here one can also find information on Kondratieff’s life and works. This edition will be useful for economists, social scientists, as well as for a wide circle of those interested in the problems of the past, present, and future of world economics and globalization.