The evolution of the Afroeurasian world-system which in the ‘long 16th century’ was transformed into the global World System comprised both economic and political components, some of which are discussed in the present article. Earlier research has identified four major zones of instability which can be designated as the Central Asian (including Afghanistan and Pakistan), the Middle East, North Africa, and the Sahel region. We suggest considering these four zones as a single Afrasian macrozone of instability. We show that this zone correlates rather closely with the zone of traditional prevalence of the parallel cousin marriage, as well as with the zone of very low female labor force participation rate, and the territory of the Umayyad Califate. The article demonstrates that this correlation is not coincidental and also discusses the factors and mechanisms that have produced it.
It has always been peculiar to evolutionists to compare social and biological evolution, the latter as visualized by Charles Darwin.1 But it also seems possible and correct to draw an analogy with another great discovery in the field of evolutionary biology, with the homologous series of Nikolay Vavilov (1921; 1927; 1967). However, there is no complete identity between cultural parallelism and biological homologous series. Vavilov studied the morphological homology, whereas our focus within the realm of social evolution is the functional one. No doubt, the morphological homomorphism also happens in the process of social evolution (e.g. in the Hawaii Islands where a type of the sociocultural organization surprisingly similar with the ones of other highly developed parts of Polynesia had independently formed by the end of the 18th century [Sahlins 1972/1958; Goldman 1970; Earle 1978]). But this topic is beyond the present paper’s problématique.
The special issue explores the manifold relations between history, memory, and anthropological research. Explicitly or not, history has always been a particular reference for anthropological research. First of all, anthropologists most often deal with the past not only when attempting to reconstruct past events and conditions, but rather to look at social change, innovation, and transformation, enabling then to position their findings in larger theoretical perspectives: from (neo-)evolutionism, the Vienna School, (Neo-)Marxism to globalization theories. Evolutionists (from the classics of the nineteenth century to contemporary ‘neoevolutionists’) are, for example, enthusiastic about the prospects of the two disciplines' union and view anthropology actually as a study of cultural history. On the contrary, anthropologists of different relativistic schools are more or less skeptical in their views on the usefulness of history for anthropological research as a study of contemporary cultures. For example, such a powerful figure as Malinowski argued that what he called conjectural history can give anthropology very little, if anything at all. Postmodernist Anthropology in fact, takes this postulate for granted.
The comparison between biological and social macroevolution is a very important (though insufficiently studied) subject whose analysis renders new significant possibilities to comprehend the processes, trends, mechanisms, and peculiarities of each of the two types of macroevolution. Of course, there are a few rather important (and very understandable) differences between them; however, it appears possible to identify a number of fundamental similarities. One may single out at least three fundamental sets of factors determining those similarities. First of all, those similarities stem from the fact that in both cases we are dealing with very complex non-equilibrium (but rather stable) systems whose principles of functioning and evolution are described by the General Systems' Theory, as well as by a number of cybernetic principles and laws.
Secondly, in both cases we do not deal with isolated systems; in both cases we deal with a complex interaction between systems of organic systems and external environment, whereas the reaction of systems to external challenges can be described in terms of certain general principles (that, however, express themselves rather differently within the biological reality, on the one hand, and within the social reality, on the other).
Thirdly, it is necessary to mention a direct ‘genetic’ link between the two types of macroevolution and their mutual influence.
It is important to emphasize that the very similarity of the principles and regularities of the two types of macroevolution does not imply their identity. Rather significant similarities are frequently accompanied by enormous differences. For example, genomes of the chimpanzees and the humans are very similar – with differences constituting just a few per cent; however, there are enormous differences with respect to intellectual and social differences of the chimpanzees and the humans hidden behind the apparently ‘insignificant’ difference between the two genomes.
Thus, in certain respects it appears reasonable to consider the biological and social macroevolution as a single macroevolutionary process. This implies the necessity to comprehend the general laws and regularities that describe this process, though their manifestations may display significant variations depending on properties of a concrete evolving entity (biological, or social one). An important notion that may contribute to the improvement of the operationalization level as regards the comparison between the two types of macroevolution is the one that we suggested some time ago – the social aromorphosis (that was developed as a counterpart to the notion of biological aromorphosis well established within Russian evolutionary biology). We regard social aromorphosis as a rare qualitative macrochange that increases in a very significant way complexity, adaptability, and mutual influence of the social systems, that opens new possibilities for social macrodevelopment. In our paper we discuss a number of regularities that describe biological and social macroevolution and that employ the notions of social and biological aromorphosis such as ones of the module evolution (or the evolutionary ‘block assemblage’), ‘payment for arogenic progress’ etc.
Strange as it may seem, celebrity (as well as fame etc.) – despite its increasing role in modern life – is hardly included in the list of the resources, whose distribution defines the major forms of inequality. In the article, it is shown that the personal celebrity has become one of the most important and more and more desired resources in the modern world, which along with the power and wealth creates the major lines of inequality in a society. The subject of the present article is the analysis of characteristics of celebrities as a special elite stratum, which the author names ‘people of celebrity’. This elite includes the top workers of mass media; art, theatre, literature, cinema workers; representatives of show business and fashion; sportsmen, etc. The common feature of this heterogeneous public is that they exploit their popularity, converting it into huge monetary incomes, posts, connections and different benefits.
It is often noted in the academic literature that chiefdoms frequently prove to be troublesome for scholars because of the disagreement as to whether to categorize this or that polity as a complex chiefdom or as an early state. This is no wonder, because complex chiefdoms, early states, as well as different other types of sociopolitical systems (large confederations, large self-governed civil and temple communities etc.) turn out to be at the same evolutionary level. In the present article it is argued that such complex societies can be considered as early state analogues. The most part of the article is devoted to the analysis of the most developed chiefdoms – the Hawaiian ones. It is argued that before the arrival of Cook there was no state in Hawaii. It should be classified as an early state analogue, i.e. a society of the same level of development as early states but lacking some state characteristics. It proceeds from the fact that the entire Hawaiian political and social organization was based on the strict rules and ideology of kinship, and the ruling groups represented endogamous castes and quasi-castes. The transition to statehood occurred only in the reign of Kamehameha I in the early 19th century. A scrupulous comparison between the Hawaiian chiefdoms and Hawaiian state is presented in the article.
The general process of the growth of sociocultural complexity was multidimensional and multilinear. That is why the evolutionary phase of medium-complex societies (where the chiefdoms are most often observed) was represented by numerous types of societies.
The article is devoted to the analysis of chiefdom analogues, or various evolutionary alternatives to the chiefdom: poleis, autonomous towns and complex village communities, cast-clan systems, non-hierarchically organized territorial groups and federations of villages, certain types of tribal systems, and so on. All chiefdom analogues' forms can be subdivided into a few types: monosettlement analogues (with the majority of the population concentrated in a single central settlement); horizontally integrated polysettlement analogues; and corporate analogues. The notion of chiefdom analogues which we put forward will advance the theoretical analysis of the cultural-political variations among medium-complex societies where chiefdoms are bound to occupy one of the main positions.
The article is devoted to the problem which is debated actively today, namely whether Greek poleis and the Roman Republic were early states or they represented a specific type of stateless societies. Some scholars suppose that even in the times of their flourishing these societies were stateless ones. I am of the opinion that this conclusion is wrong: and I believe thatAthens and the Roman Republic were early states. Therefore the present article is in many respects a direct discussion with the supporters of the idea of the stateless character of the ancient societies.
The problem as to whether Athens and the Roman Republic were early states is important in itself. However, the attempts to settle it inevitably result in a consideration of a wider problem of great importance: what polities in general can be considered as early states. In particular, is it also possible to regard as such the democratically organized societies?
Thus, in this contribution a specific aspect of the problem of multilinearity in sociopolitical evolution is examined. On the one hand, simultaneously with early states there coexisted complex non-state societies comparable to the states in size, population, other parameters and functions. Elsewhere I termed such polities the analogues of the early state(e.g., Grinin 2003c, 2004c; Bondarenko, Grinin, and Korotayev 2002). On the other hand, the diversity of sociopolitical evolution is expressed also in a tremendous variety of the early states proper among which the bureaucratic states represent just one of many types. The democratic early states without bureaucracy were early states of another type.
In this article I analyze Athens and the Roman Republic as examples of this very type.
The concept of the early state introduced by Henri J. M. Claessen and Peter Skalník appears to have been the last among the great epoch-making political-anthropological theories of the 60s and 70s of the last century (e.g., Sahlins [1960, 1963, 1968], Service [1962, 1975], Fried [1967, 1975]), which did more than just giving a new consideration of socio-political evolution, its stages and models. One may even say that these theories succeeded in filling the evolutionary gap between the pre-state forms and the state, which had formed by that moment in the academic consciousness due to the fact that the accumulated ethnographic and archaeological data could hardly fit the prior schemes.
This Issue is composed of two panels, namely Section I (Special) and Section II. The major part of the issue belongs to Special Section ‘The Early State in Anthropological Theory’ withPeter Skalník, one of the founders of the early state concept,as its Guest Editor.
The processes of the growing societal complexity, emergence of new forms of social and political inequality, formation of pre-state or complex stateless polities belong to the most intriguing subjects of Anthropology and Social Philosophy.
Social Evolution & History has consistently published the research articles devoted to these issues. The chiefdom concept plays a special role within the theories that try to account for the transition from simple social systems to systems of greater complexity. Following its emergence in the 1950s this notion became an important heuristic means to advance Anthropology and Archaeology. It was also subjected to vigorous debates within which the participants denied the methodological significance of chiefdoms and the very notion of the chiefdom. These debates are becoming even more vigorous in connection with the rapid accumulation of information on ancient societies (see the dispute over chiefdoms between Timothy Pauketat and Robert Carneiro in 9.1). There is also much discrepancy in the definition of ‘chiefdom’ as some scholars consider it a standard phase of cultural evolution, a natural transition between the ‘Big Man’ society and the states of the ancient world.
The evidence shows that the Tanzanian and Zambian university students representing the African by origin overwhelming majority of the countries' population are generally tolerant towards their compatriots of the non-African (European and South Asian) origins. However, the evidence also gives reason to argue that the level of tolerance among the Zambian students is higher than among Tanzanian. The examination of a number of factors that supposedly could lead to the Zambian educated youth's higher level of tolerance has shown that the most significant among them are those related to the two nations' history since the pre-colonial time, the memory of it, and the use and abuse of this memory by the post-colonial states. From the historical point of view the greatest essential difference between the two cases lies in the existence since pre-colonial time of the Swahili culture and language and of the minimal number of expansionist centralized polities on the contemporary state's territory as the background for autochthonous peoples' unity in Tanzania and lack of such a background in pre-colonial Zambia.
The hypothesis that population pressure causes increased warfare has been recently criticized on the empirical grounds. Both studies focusing on specific historical societies and analyses of cross-cultural data fail to find positive correlation between population density and incidence of warfare. In this paper we argue that such negative results do not falsify the population-warfare hypothesis. Population and warfare are dynamical variables, and if their interaction causes sustained oscillations, then we do not in general expect to find strong correlation between the two variables measured at the same time (that is, unlagged). We explore mathematically what the dynamical patterns of interaction between population and warfare (focusing on internal warfare) might be in both stateless and state societies. Next, we test the model predictions in several empirical case studies: early modern England, Han and Tang China, and the Roman Empire. Our empirical results support the population-warfare theory: we find that there is a tendency for population numbers and internal warfare intensity to oscillate with the same period but shifted in phase (with warfare peaks following population peaks). Furthermore, the rates of change of the two variables behave precisely as predicted by the theory: population rate of change is negatively affected by warfare intensity, while warfare rate of change is positively affected by population density.
There is no doubt that periodization is a rather effective method of data ordering and analysis, but it deals with exceptionally complex types of processual and temporal phenomena and thus it simplifies historical reality. Many scholars emphasize the great importance of periodization for the study of history. In fact, any periodization suffers from one-sidedness and certain deviations from reality. However, the number and significance of such deviations can be radically diminished as the effectiveness of periodization is directly connected with its author's understanding of the rules and peculiarities of this methodological procedure. In this paper we would like to suggest a model of periodization of history based on our theory of historical process. We shall also demonstrate some possibilities of mathematical modeling for the problems concerning the macroperiodization of the world historical process. This analysis identifies a number of cycles within this process and suggests its generally hyperexponential shape, which makes it possible to propose a number of forecasts concerning the forthcoming decades.
Review of Scott MacEachern, Searching for Boko Haram. A History of Violence in Central Africa. New York: Oxford University Press, 2018. 233 pp. ISBN 9780190492526. In English.
The collapse of the socialist system laid all former members of the Warsaw Pact bloc and Council for Mutual Economic Assistance under the necessity for choosing a new developmental path. Nowadays, a quarter of a century later, we can state for certain that the Eastern European and Baltic countries which had chosen the integration with the Western Europe evolved in social, political and economic terms, yet their evolutionary pathways significantly differ from the development patterns chosen by the political elite of other countries of the former Soviet Union. In the early twenty-first century the development of global economy proved that the growth potential of the G-7 countries reached its limit and that their structural economic imbalance reduces competitiveness of their products and services in international markets. Therefore, the transitional processes in the Eastern European countries and their influence on development of political, social and economic institutions are of practical interest. Besides, the unstable evolutionary processes in these countries demonstrate a complexity of transformation processes and importance of the chosen reform options.
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, system of education, medical sphere, and with the 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 insist that the economic reconstruction and development are necessary for nation-building. This actually implies a 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 present article describes several mechanisms that can contribute to sociopolitical instability, including social tensions arising from rapid urbanization, youth bulges, and ‘resource curses’.
Postcolonial societies are a unique event in world history. Their emergence in the mid-twentieth century did not result from centuries-old internal social processes, but was directly determined by the formation and short-lived (by historical standards) existence and disintegration of the European colonial empires. The colonial borders reflected primarily the balance of forces between the metropolitan powers in this or that region, but not the preceding course of the region's own political, social, economic, and cultural history. With rare exceptions, many different peoples were forcibly united within a colony. Not only kinship but also cultural affinity among those peoples was often absent. At the same time, the colonial borders would divide one people or break the historically established regional systems of economic and cultural ties not less infrequently. Likewise, the colonialists would forcibly unite peoples that had never formed regional political and economic systems; moreover, had different levels of sociocultural complexity, and sometimes did not even know about each other or were historical enemies. At the same time, the colonial borders would often separate historically and economically connected peoples and societies. These features were supplemented by stadial and civilizational heterogeneity of the colonial societies. The elements of capitalism, implanted by the Europeans in different spheres, did not synthesize with a set of pre-capitalist features of the local societies. There was also a little intersection between the autochthonous and new sectors of public life, in which essentially different value systems dominated.
Until recently, cultural evolution has commonly been regarded as a permanent teleological move to a greater level of hierarchy, crowned with state formation. However, recent research based upon the principle of heterarchy – ‘... the relation of elements to one another when they are unranked or when they possess the potential for being ranked in a number of different ways’ (Crumley 1995: 3) changes the usual picture dramatically. The opposite of heterarchy, then, would be a condition in a society in which relationships in most contexts are ordered mainly according to one principal hierarchical relationship. This organizational principle may be called ‘homoarchy’. Homoarchy and heterarchy represent the most universal ‘ideal’ principles and basic trajectories of socio-cultural (including political) organization and its transformations. There are no universal evolutionary stages – band, tribe, chiefdom, state or otherwise – inasmuch as cultures so characterized could be heterarchical or homoarchical: they could be organized differently, while having an equal level of overall social complexity. However, alternativity exists not only between heterarchic and homoarchic cultures but also within each of the respective types. In particular, the present article attempts at demonstrating that the Benin Kingdom of the 13th – 19th centuries, being an explicitly homoarchic culture not inferior to early states in the level of complexity, nevertheless was not a state as it lacked administrative specialization and pronounced priority of the supra-kin ties. The Benin form of socio-political organization can be called ‘megacommunity’, and its structure can be depicted as four concentric circles forming an upset cone: the extended family, community, chiefdom, and megacommunity (kingdom). Thus, the homoarchic megacommunity turns out an alternative to the homoarchic by definition (Claessen and Skalník 1978: 640) early state. Полное или частичное копирование материалов сайта www.socionauki.ru разрешено только при обязательном указании автора и прямой гиперссылки https://www.socionauki.ru/journal/articles/129949/
The article analyzes the technological shifts which took place in the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and predict the main shifts in the next half a century. On the basis of the analysis of the latest achievements in medicine, bio- and nanotechnologies, robotics, ICT and other technological directions and also on the basis of the opportunities provided by the theory of production revolutions the authors present a detailed analysis of the latest production revolution which is denoted as ‘Cybernetic’. There are given some forecasts about its development in the nearest five decades and up to the end of twenty-first century. It is shown that the development of various self-regulating systems will be the main trend of this revolution. The article gives a detailed analysis of the future breakthroughs in medicine, and also in bio- and nanotechnologies in terms of the development of self-regulating systems with their growing ability to select optimal modes of functioning as well as of other characteristics of the Cybernetic Revolution (resources and energy saving, miniaturization, and individualization).
The paper looks into the evolution of globalization at its earliest stages (from the Neolithic Revolution to the Urban Revolution). Building on the approach by Frank, Chase-Dunn, and Hall to defining the age of the World System, we view the network space of the ancient World System which secured its cohesion. This network space served to transmit and diffuse the most important innovations of that time, such as domesticates, technologies, and prestigious goods. For each of these categories we give a number of examples which, taken together, provide sufficient evidence for the emergence of the World System as early as the Neolithic Revolution (and, indeed, in close connection with it).