Select Page

The Evolution of Political Systems

Sociopolitics in Small-Scale Sedentary Societies

Edited by Steadman Upham

Throughout the world, the development of agriculture produced dramatic changes in human cultural systems. As people settled down in one locality, populations grew rapidly, patterns of subsistence were transformed, technology became more advanced, and the nature of social and political relations changed. People no longer interacted exclusively with kin, as they had in the past when organized in bands, and new forms of political relationships between groups were established. The emergence of these political systems was the first step in the evolution of the state. The contributors to this book rely on archaeological and ethnographic case studies to examine the social, economic, and political processes behind the development of these “middle-range” political systems, located on a continuum between communally organized hunter-gatherer bands and stratified, centralized chiefdoms and states.

1990. 336 pp., Figures, tables, map, notes, references, index., 6 x 9

Contributors: Barbara Bender, David Braun, Christine A. Hastorf, Arthur S. Keene, Richard B. Lee, Robert McC. Netting, Stephen Plog, Dean J. Saitta, Bruce G. Trigger, Steadman Upham

This volume is available through print on demand, shipped directly to you. Please fill out the following form to receive information about pricing.

The Evolution of Political Systems inquiry:

6 + 11 =

There are no reviews at this time.

List of figures
List of Tables
List of Contributors
Foreword by Jonathan Haas
Preface by Steadman Upham

    1. Decoupling the processes of political evolution
      Steadman Upham

Part I EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVES AND EXPLANATORY FRAMEWORKS

    1. Population, permanent agriculture, and polities: unpacking the evolutionary portmanteau
      Robert McC. Netting
    2. Selection and evolution in nonhierarchical organization
      David P. Braun
    3. Analog or digital?: Toward a generic framework for explaining the development of emergent political systems
      Steadman Upham

Part II THE ROLE OF DECISION-MAKING, PRODUCTIVE, AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESSES IN POLITICAL CHANGE

    1. Maintaining economic equality in opposition to complexity: an Iroquoian study
      Bruce G. Trigger
    2. One path to the heights: negotiating political inequality in the Sausa of Peru
      Christine A. Hastorf
    3. Agriculture, sedentism, and environment in the evolution of political system
      Stephen Plog

Part III MARXIST VIEWS OF POLITICAL CHANGE

  1. Politics and surplus flow in prehistoric communal societies
    Dean J. Saitta and Arthur S. Keene
  2. Primitive communism and the origin of social inequality
    Richard B. Lee
  3. The dynamics of nonhierarchical societies
    Barbara Bender
There are no working papers for this book at the present time.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share this

Share this post with your friends!