Researchers at the University of Connecticut have crafted a scientific theory based on the idea the historical trends occur in predictable patterns.
There predictions are based on common factors like government strength, population size and social inequality. One finding using the theory is that violence outside of wars within the US trigger every 50 years.
Many historians are sceptical and note that one-off events and major wars do not appear within the theory. Researchers do hope that if the theory can be proven it could help governments make decisions before they are forced to do so in a crisis.
See Neatorama for a graph showing the theory in action.