Application of Wavelets to the Study of Political History
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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.’...
KeywordsWavelet Analysis Window Function Continuous Wavelet Morlet Wavelet Wavelet Power Spectrum
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