In the paper we express some doubts about one of the assumptions of Robert Carneiro’s model on state (and chiefdom) formation, namely the role of circumscription. In our opinion, the main flaw of Carneiro’s original theory of state formation is that it implicitly assumes that every community dreamt to conquer its neighboring communities. We test the presence of various types of warfare (such as conquest warfare, land acquisition warfare, and plunder warfare) in societies with different degrees of political centralization. Quantitative cross-cultural tests reveal a rather strong correlation between political complexity and the presence of conquest warfare suggesting that conquest warfare was virtually absent among independent communities. Newer works by Carneiro propose a model explaining how simple chiefdoms could appear in the absence of conquest warfare. This model also includes circumscription, but our analysis suggests that it is unnecessary
Our empirical tests generally support the hypothesis that up to certain values of the average per capita income its growth tends to lead to increased risks of sociopolitical destabilization, and only in the upper range of this indicator its growth tends to be associated with the decrease of sociopolitical destabilization risks. However, our analysis has shown that for various indices of sociopolitical destabilization this curvilinear relationship can be quite different in some important details. On the other hand, we detect the presence of a very important exception. We show that the relationship between per capita GDP and the intensity of coups and coup attempts is not curvilinear; in this case we are rather dealing with a pronounced negative correlation; a particularly strong negative correlation is observed between this index and the logarithm of GDP per capita. We demonstrate that this fact makes the abovementioned bell-shaped relationship with respect to the integral index of sociopolitical destabilization considerably less distinct and makes a very significant contribution to the formation of its asymmetry (when the negative correlation between per capita GDP and sociopolitical destabilization among the richer countries looks much stronger than the positive correlation among poorer countries). However, our analysis shows that for all the other indices of sociopolitical destabilization we do witness the bell-shaped relationship. On the other hand, for example, in relation to such indices, as political strikes, riots and anti-government demonstrations we deal with such an asymmetry that is directly opposite to that mentioned above - with such an asymmetry, when a positive correlation between GDP and instability for poorer countries is much stronger than the negative correlation for richer countries.
The article suggests that the Great Divergence of the 19th century between “the West” and “the East” was preceded by the Great Divergence in the 18th century between the Global North and the Global South. This may be attributed to a new, much higher level of state efficiency in the Global North. The eastern and western regions of the Global North frequently used different methods to make their state apparatuses more efficient, but achieved strikingly similar results during the 18th century. The Great Divergence of the 19th century, remarkably, occurred within the Global North.
In the current paper, we investigate the predictive ability of Goldstone’s demographic structural model. In particular we seek to apply Turchin’s version of it to modeling the social pressures for political instability in the UK. It is then demonstrated that Turchin’s analysis of ‘demographic structural’ pressures in the US presents similar conditions that developed under neoliberalism during the same time periods in both countries. It is also demonstrated that the modeling of social pressures toward political instability in the UK and the USA performed by Peter Turchin and us can throw some light on the factors and patterns of the global sociopolitical destabilization wave of the 2010s. Thus, Goldstone’s demographic structural model might have some predictive potential not only at the national level, but also global scale.
In the first part of this article we survey general similarities and differences between biological and social macroevolution. In the second (and main) part, we consider a concrete mathematical model capable of describing important features of both biological and social macroevolution. In mathematical models of historical macrodynamics, a hyperbolic pattern of world population growth arises from non-linear, second-order positive feedback between demographic growth and technological development. This is more or less identical with the working of the collective learning mechanism. Based on diverse paleontological data and an analogy with macrosociological models, we suggest that the hyperbolic character of biodiversity growth can be similarly accounted for by non-linear, second-order positive feedback between diversity growth and the complexity of community structure, suggesting the presence within the biosphere of a certain analogue of the collective learning mechanism. We discuss how such positive feedback mechanisms can be modelled mathematically.
In the current paper, we investigate the relationship between secular cycles and millennial trends. The tests we perform suggest that the structure of millennial trends cannot be adequately understood without secular cycles being taken into consideration. At a certain level of analysis millennial trends turn out to be a virtual byproduct of demographic cycles that appear to incorporate certain trend- creating mechanisms. This suggests that demographic-political cycle models can serve as a basis for the development and testing of models accounting not only for secular cycles but also for millennial trends.
This article starts with a brief analysis of the causes of state collapse as states undergo the process of political evolution. Next, I describe and analyze the mechanisms of social-political crises arising in the process of modernization. Such crises are a consequence of the inability of many traditional institutions and ideologies to keep up with changes in technology, communication, the system of education, the medical sphere, and demographic change. This analysis suggests that an accelerated development can cause a system crisis with potentially serious consequences to the society. It is important to take this aspect into consideration because some scholars recommend that the economic reconstruction and development are necessary for nation-building. This actually means rapid economic advancement (otherwise, the economy could not be reconstructed and developed). However, one should not ignore the possibility that very rapidly developing countries may run the danger of falling into the trap of fast transformation. The article describes several mechanisms that can contribute to sociopolitical instability, including social tensions arising from rapid urbanization, youth bulges, and ‘resource curses.’
This article tests the hypothesis that Ukraine experienced a state breakdown in 2014. The methodology employed to test this statement is based on achievements of structural-demographic theory, created by Jack Goldstone and developed by Peter Turchin. The rea-sons for a fiscal crisis, intra-elite conflict and mass mobilization (the three criteria for a state breakdown) are discussed. It is demonstrated that budget management in Ukraine was ineffective, and, coupled with an unbalanced political system, led to the fiscal crisis. The intra-elite conflict was caused by Yanukovych’s politics and by lack of resources as a consequence of elite overproduction, which led to fewer opportunities among the traditional elites. To demonstrate the mass discontent that was the main factor for the protests and rallies, evidence is presented that the population of Ukraine experienced immiseration in 2010–13. The final factor determining the future of the Ukrainian system was the delegitimization of power. This could happen only under the conditions of intra-elite conflict. All of these factors arose because of the high degree of capital concentration in the hands of the economic elite. The article concludes that we have every reason to say that a state breakdown occurred in Ukraine.