Global Urbanization and Political Development of the World System
Collection of papers on the early state presented at an international conference in Xi'an, China, in 2013.
The book contains articles by six Russian and seven international scholars who participated in a joint research project looking at, on the one hand, the development and contemporary state of democracy in the world, and on the other hand, at the political development of post-Communist Russia. The goal of the research was to analyze the Russian political practives in the light of today's political science knowledge about democracy, with its achivements and flaws, and to enrich the democratic theory with insights of the Russian experience.
This paper considers concrete manifestations of the multilinearity of politogenesis and the variation of its forms; it analyzes the main causes that determined the politogenetic pathway of a given society. The respective factors include the polity's size, its ecological and social environment. The politogenesis should be never reduced to the only evolutionary pathway leading to the statehood. The early state formation was only one of many versions of development of complex late archaic social systems. The author designates various complex non-state political systems as early state analogues.
The early state analogue posed a real alternative to the state for a rather long period of time, whereas in many ecologically marginal regions they could compete quite seriously with the state sometimes until recently. Thus, it was only in the final count that the state became the leading form of political organization of complex societies. The very pathways to statehood had a few versions. One may group them into two main types: ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’. Within the ‘vertical’ model the state formation took place in a direct way, i.e. directly from small pre-state polities to primitive statehood. Within the ‘horizontal’ model we first observe the formation of early state analogues that were quite comparable to the state as regards to their complexity, whereas later those analogues were transformed into states.
After the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2011, explosive global growth was observed for the majority of indicators of sociopolitical destabilization in all parts of the World System. In order to identify the structure of this destabilization wave, we apply a series of statistical techniques such as trend analysis and t-tests to study the degrees of intensification of various instability indicators (as recorded by the Cross-National Time Series database). We reveal explosive global growth in anti-government demonstrations, riots, general strikes, terrorist attacks/guerrilla warfare and purges, as well as in the global integral index of sociopolitical destabilization. On the other hand, no statistically significant growth has been detected for assassinations and major government crises, whereas for such an important indicator of global sociopolitical destabilization, as the global number of coups and coup attempts, we find a statistically significant decrease.