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Regular version of the site
Of all publications in the section: 34
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Article
Butovskaya M., Rostovtseva V., Mkrtchjan R. Social Evolution & History. 2019. Vol. 18. No. 1. P. 110-126.

According to modern views on human bio-sociality, Big Five person- ality traits have been shaped in the process of human evolution and their expression is an outcome of the complex interaction of prenatal predispositions and cultural environment. Present study investigates the impact of prenatal androgenization and cultural norms on the per- sonality traits in adult men from four ethnic groups living on the terri- tory of Russian Federation. The study was conducted on 263 young men (age range 17–30 years), including Russians, Armenians, Ob- Ugric and Buryats. The results revealed significant population diffe- rences in 2D:4D ratios on both hands, with lowest ratios for Asian sample, increasing in populations to the West. Significant ethnic dif- ferences were found for Openness to New Experience, Conscientious- ness, and Neuroticism. Positive association between 2D:4D ratios on the right hand and Agreeableness in men with no respect to population origin was detected. This relationship becomes stronger, when controlling for aggressiveness.

Added: Oct 28, 2019
Article
Korotayev A., Issaev L., Shishkina A. et al. Social Evolution & History. 2016. Vol. 15. No. 2. P. 120-140.

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. 

 

 

Added: Sep 30, 2016
Article
Bondarenko D. M., Grinin L. E., Korotayev A. Social Evolution & History. 2002. Vol. 1. No. 1. P. 54-79.

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.

Added: Oct 16, 2014
Article
Bondarenko D. M., Grätz T., Skalník P. Social Evolution & History. 2014. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 5-16.

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.

Added: Oct 7, 2014
Article
Grinin L. E., Korotayev A., A. V. M. Social Evolution & History. 2009. Vol. 8. No. 2. P. 6-50.

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.

Added: Oct 15, 2014
Article
Grinin L. E. Social Evolution & History. 2012. Vol. 11. No. 1. P. 124-153.

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. 

Added: Oct 13, 2014
Article
Grinin L. E. Social Evolution & History. 2011. Vol. 10. No. 1. P. 234-275.

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.   

Added: Oct 13, 2014
Article
Grinin L. E., Korotayev A. Social Evolution & History. 2011. Vol. 10. No. 1. P. 276-335.

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. 

Added: Oct 13, 2014
Article
Grinin L. E. Social Evolution & History. 2004. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 93-149.

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.

Added: Oct 16, 2014
Article
Grinin L. E. Social Evolution & History. 2008. P. 67-81.

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.

Added: Oct 16, 2014
Article
Grinin L. E., Dmitri M. B., Korotayev A. Social Evolution & History. 2009. Vol. 8. No. 1. P. 2-2.

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.

Added: Oct 15, 2014
Article
Grinin L. E., Korotayev A., Bondarenko D. M. Social Evolution & History. 2011. Vol. 10. No. 1. P. 2-4.

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.

Added: Oct 14, 2014
Article
Korotayev A., Borinskaya S., Starostin G. et al. Social Evolution & History. 2019. Vol. 18. No. 2. P. 286-312.

Currently, the main source for the reconstruction of the most ancient history of humankind is archeology, which almost by definition makes it possible to restore only just a few elements of the most ancient human culture (naturally, almost exclusively – material culture). A mere introduction of comparative linguistic data makes it possible to significantly refine our reconstruction of a respective culture. If a certain linguistic Urheimat may be localized in space and in time within the area and lifespan of a certain archaeological culture, this suggests that we may have an idea of the language spoken by respective population, as the application of comparative linguistic methods allows us to reconstruct the vocabulary of the carriers of the respective protolanguage, that makes it possible to identify a set of terms denoting the realities of family organization, political attitudes, beliefs, etc. A very important part of the reconstructed vocabulary is constituted by the kinship terminology. As is well known (and as is demonstrated in this article again), the kinship terminology displays rather strong correlations with respective types of kinship organization, which could allow to reconstruct important features of clan and family structure of the respective populations. This reconstruction can be further verified by using archaeological and genetic data. It is demonstrated that the papers presented at the International Workshop ‘Murdock and Goody Re-visited: (Pre)history and evolution of Eurasian and African family systems’ that was organized in April 2015 by the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology suggest that we are close to having all the necessary ingredients to undertake such a program of a deep historical reconstruction.

Added: Nov 23, 2019
Article
Bondarenko D. M. Social Evolution & History. 2014. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 97-118.

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.

Added: Oct 7, 2014
Article
Burkova V., Butovskaya M., Mabulla A. Social Evolution & History. 2015. Vol. 14. No. 1. P. 87-104.

The study of contemporary traditional pastoralist societies of Eastern Africa provide perfect examples of norms enforcement by third par- ties, and the life cycle ceremonies is a good example. The Datoga are characterized by exceptionally well-preserved traditional childbirth and postpartum rites, as well as by multistage system of integration of an infant into the tribe, clan, and family. The ceremonies represent a complex process of social interactions between a newborn, his or her relatives, and neighbors. During the ceremonies, an interrelation between an infant and others is established through a complex exchange of responsibilities, favors, and presents, as prescribed by the cultural scenario. In this paper we present the description of post- partum ceremonies and caloripuncture ceremony of an infant, con- ducted by contemporary Datoga. This particular example demon- strates the importance of cultural group selection in small-scale socie- ties and one of the possible mechanisms to achieve human ultrasocial- ity, rooted in self-identification with others on the basis of culturally installed similarity ques.

Added: Dec 16, 2019
Article
Александров Г. В. Social Evolution & History. 2019. Vol. 18. No. 1. P. 27-46.

The article deals with the early evolution of concepts crucial for the development of the British imperial mythology. The author focuses on the emergence of the ‘agricultural argument’ for appropriating native lands and on the changing perceptions of civility. While the origins of the ‘agricultural argument’ in the works of early colonial propagandists are obvious, the author argues that those early ideas were not defined enough to serve the purposes of the colonial expansion, and the shift towards a more practical interpretation happened in the context of native-colonial relations. The concept of civility took on new meaning in the colonies, much more similar to the later imperial idea. The author emphasizes the impact of the colonial experience onthis ideological evolution.

Added: Sep 30, 2019
Article
Korotayev A., Turchin P. V. Social Evolution & History. 2006. Vol. 5. No. 2. P. 121-158.

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.

Added: Mar 8, 2013
Article
Grinin L. E. Social Evolution & History. 2007. Vol. 6. No. 2. P. 75-120.

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. 

Added: Oct 16, 2014
Article
Костелянец С. В., Денисова Т. С. Social Evolution & History. 2018. Vol. 17. No. 1. P. 202-208.

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.

Added: Jul 3, 2018
Article
Grinin L. E. Social Evolution & History. 2019. Vol. 18. No. 2. P. 260-285.

Although there were many revolutions in the ancient world and in the Middle Ages, their role in the development of historical process was relatively small. Starting from the Modern period, the role of revolutions as historical engines increased dramatically, which was connected with the started industrial era and emerging new technologies, the development of capitalist relations, to which the revolutions opened the way in the fight against absolutism and obsolete social relations. The article considers the role of revolutions in the long-term historical process and the World System's development as well as analyzes the changing importance of revolutions from ancient times to the present day. It is shown why the nature of revolutions has changed and their significance has sharply increased since the beginning of the sixteenth century, that is with the started Early Modern period and the Industrial revolution. It is also shown that at first the role of revolutions increased in historical process and in globalization as one of its main components. Then the author explains how and why the role of revolutions as the most important driving force of historical process and progress started to decline against the background of the increasing role of more legitimate and less expensive forms of societal transformations. The contemporary role of revolutions and their usage as a geopolitical weapon are also examined. I also show the correlation between development of technologies, globalization, and the role of revolution in historical process. While considering these aspects I also address some points related to the theory of revolution and make some predictions regarding the future role of revolutions for the development of societies and the World System in general.

Added: Nov 14, 2019
Article
Akaev A., Ichkitidze Y., Sarygulov A. et al. Social Evolution & History. 2016. Vol. 15. No. 2. P. 3-24.

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.

Added: Oct 28, 2018
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