Quantitative historical analysis uncovers a single dimension of complexity that structures global variation in human social organization
Do human societies from around the world exhibit similarities in the way that they are structured, and show commonalities in the ways that they have evolved? These are long-standing questions that have proven difficult to answer. To test between competing hypotheses, we constructed a massive repository of historical and archaeological information known as “Seshat: Global History Databank.” We systematically coded data on 414 societies from 30 regions around the world spanning the last 10,000 years. We were able to capture information on 51 variables reflecting nine characteristics of human societies, such as social scale, economy, features of governance, and information systems. Our analyses revealed that these different characteristics show strong relationships with each other and that a single principal component captures around threequarters of the observed variation. Furthermore, we found that different characteristics of social complexity are highly predictable across different world regions. These results suggest that key aspects of social organization are functionally related and do indeed coevolve in predictable ways. Our findings highlight the power of the sciences and humanities working together to rigorously test hypotheses about general rules that may have shaped human history.
The nature of European imperialism during the "long nineteenth century" is still contested. Although the shadows of the old polemic framed by Schumpeter and Lenin's diametrically opposed positions are still occasionally cast upon the discussion, more recent appraisals of European imperialism have emphasized its relationship to both the consolidation of liberalism in Europe and attempts to globalize the economies and value systems of European nation states. Given this new line of inquiry, the exact relationship between the various forms of liberalism in Europe and the various imperial projects of Europe have yet to be scrutinized. Was there an overarching European project of liberal imperialism or were there overriding regional and national differences that differentiated the imperialism/s of the various European states? Did the contours of the domestic struggles between liberals and non-liberals (particularly conservatives and socialists) as well between different types of liberals leave a significant imprint on the expansionist policies of European states or was there a national consensus that eroded party lines on issues of foreign policy? What was the social composition of the supporters of empire in civil society? Is it possible to speak of a popular movement for empire? In this state-of-the-field anthology, leading scholars in the fields of European imperial history and intellectual history explore these questions and more, in order to thoroughly investigate the phenomenon of "liberal imperialism."
This paper is a quantitative research on the evolution of dramatic texts since the 1740s to the first quarter of the 20th century. Using our TEI-encoded corpus of plays, we analyze the changes in length and linguistic composition of stage directions. These changes, in our view, reflect the general ‘epification’ of drama – a process that later culminates with the emergence of Brecht’s ‘epic theatre’.
Scientific Conference "Socio- economic and political processes in Russia, Europe and North America in modern and contemporary times : a comparative study " conducted by the Department of General History and world politics of Historical and Sociological Institute of Mordovia State University in connection with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the department. The purpose of the conference - make comparative analysis of the socio -economic , political and legal processes in Russia and the countries of Europe and North America in terms of transformation processes in modern and contemporary history. Comparative studies is demanded both in the implementation of scientific and educational activities , and in formulating recommendations to public authorities and local governments.
This article builds on research demonstrating that high levels of economic and physical security are conducive to a shift from Materialist to Postmaterialist values---and that this shift tends to make people more favorable to important social changes. This article updates this research, demonstrating that:
(1) These value changes occur with exceptionally large time-lags between the onset of the conditions conducive to them, and the societal changes they produce---as previous work implies but does not demonstrate. The evidence suggests that there was a time-lag of 40 to 50 years between when Western societies first attained of high levels of economic and physical security after World War II, and related societal changes such as legalization of same-sex marriage. (2) A distinctive set of “Individual-choice norms,” dealing with acceptance of gender equality, divorce, abortion and homosexuality, is moving on a different trajectory from other cultural changes. These norms are closely linked with human fertility rates and require severe self-repression. (3) Although basic values normally change at the pace of intergenerational population replacement, the shift from Pro-fertility norms to Individual-choice norms is now moving much faster, having reached a tipping-point where conformist pressures have reversed polarity and are now accelerating changes they once resisted. We test these claims against data from 80 countries containing most of the world’s population, surveyed from 1981 to 2014.
The patterns of growth of the body of professors and instructors of the university of Dorpat from 1803 through 1884 is compared to that of the universities of Kazan and St. Petersburg. It is shown that the Dorpat university, once taking the leading position within the imperial University system, lagged behind other universities by the mid-1880s. This lag was caused by decreasing, as compared to the other universities, growth rates of the faculty at Dorpat. An analysis of the legislation and of the growth patterns by different categories of the faculty allows to speculate on two groups of reasons of this growth anomaly. First, the ministerial policy has seemingly put limitations on the growth of salaried faculty at Dorpat. Second, the patterns of growth rates of Privat-docenten suggest that there were considerable differences in their status across different universities. While at Kazan and St. Petesrburg, one may observe an explosive growth of the numbers of the Privat-docenten after they had been introduced in the 1860s, at Dorpat, the Privat-docenten failed not only to outnumber the salaried faculty, but even to comprise a more or less considerable fraction of the body of professors and instructors, even though they were present from as early as 1805. The reasons for this difference, it seems, are to be sought in the peculiarities of local academic cultures.
A concept of 'medium-sized' data is introduced to complement 'Big' data used in many projects in quantitative history. Like Big data, medium-sized data are disaggregated, machine-readable, represent 'natural' populations rather than samples, and are 'shallow' (the number of variables is usually small). Unlike 'Big' data they are not accumulated routinely in a machine-readable format and require a lot of manual work, which puts certain limits to the size of datasets. General principles of dataset formation for the analysis of populations of persons and organizations are discussed. Two datsets (one, for 19th century Russian University professors and instructors, and another, for Russian philosophical periodicals of the first half of the 20th century) are used to demonstrate techniques of stepwise data aggregation (which helps to partly overcome the original shallowness of the medium-sized data) and visualization of historical processes. The role of novel descriptive and representative techniques in comparative studies is discussed.
This article is talking about state management and cultural policy, their nature and content in term of the new tendency - development of postindustrial society. It mentioned here, that at the moment cultural policy is the base of regional political activity and that regions can get strong competitive advantage if they are able to implement cultural policy successfully. All these trends can produce elements of new economic development.