Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Application of Wavelets to the Study of Political History

  • Luís Aguiar-ConrariaEmail author
  • Pedro C. Magalhães
  • Maria Joana Soares
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_637-1


The use of wavelet analysis is already very common in a large variety of disciplines, such as physics, geophysics, astronomy, epidemiology, signal and image processing, medicine, biology, or oceanography. More recently, wavelet tools have also been applied successfully in the areas of economics and finance.

In spite of their increasing popularity in all these fields, wavelets are still very rarely used in other social sciences, namely, in political history or political science.

The purpose of this article is to present a self-contained introduction to the continuous wavelet transform, with special emphasis on its time-frequency localization properties and to illustrate the potential of this tool for problems in the area of political history, by considering a particular example – the discussion about the possible existence of cycles in the British electoral politics.


“The idea that social processes develop in a cyclical manner is somewhat like a ‘Lorelei.’...


Wavelet Analysis Window Function Continuous Wavelet Morlet Wavelet Wavelet Power Spectrum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luís Aguiar-Conraria
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pedro C. Magalhães
    • 2
  • Maria Joana Soares
    • 3
  1. 1.NIPE and Economics DepartmentUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.Social Science InstituteUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.NIPE and Department of Mathematics and ApplicationsUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal