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The Anthropology of War


Edited by Jonathan Haas

This edited collection contains important new material on the origins and role of warfare in “tribal” societies. The chapters focus on a number of basic research issues, including war and social evolution, causes of war, ideology of war, and European transformation of indigenous warfare patterns. The anthropologist contributors represent different theoretical positions and world areas, and approach the phenomena of pre-state warfare from different perspectives. The diversity of views is a positive and particularly stimulating feature of the volume. The Anthropology of War is a significant contribution to an area within anthropology that has gained little attention, and will be of interest to political scientists, historians, and sociologists who are curious about how anthropologists deal with the problem of warfare.

1990. 260 pp., Figures, notes, references, index., 6 x 9

Contributors: Robert L. Carneiro, Napoleon Chagnon, R. Brian Ferguson, Thomas P. Gibson, Thomas A. Gregor, Jonathan Haas, Clark Richard McCauley, Clayton Robarchek, Neil L. Whitehead

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  1. Conference overview
    Clark McCauley
  2. Explaining war
    R. Brian Ferguson
  3. Motivations and material causes: on the explanation of conflict and war
    Clayton Robarchek
  4. Reproductive and somatic conflicts of interest in the genesis of violence and warfare among tribesmen
    Napoleon Chagnon
  5. Uneasy peace: intertribal relations in Brazil’s Upper Xingu
    Thomas Gregor
  6. Raiding, trading, and tribal autonomy in insular Southeast Asia
    Thomas Gibson
  7. The Snake Warriors – Sons of the Tiger’s Teeth: a descriptive analysis of Carib warfare ca 1500–1820
    Neil Whitehead
  8. Warfare and the evolution of tribal polities in the prehistoric Southwest
    Robert S. Sharer
  9. Chiefdom-level warfare as exemplified in Fiji and the Cauca Valley
    Robert Carneiro

There are no working papers for this book at the present time.