Chiefdoms and their Analogues: Alternatives of Social Evolution at the Societal Level of Medium Cultural Complexity

Social Evolution & History, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 276-335, 2011

60 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2011

See all articles by Leonid Grinin

Leonid Grinin

National Research University Higher School of Economics; Eurasian Center for Big History & System Forecasting; Volgograd Center for Social Research

Andrey Korotayev

Russian State University for the Humanities

Date Written: March 25, 2011

Abstract

The general process of the growth of 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.

Keywords: evolution, society, complexity, pre-state, analogues, monosettlement, polysettlement, chiefdom, social aromorphoses, state, formation

Suggested Citation

Grinin, Leonid and Korotayev, Andrey, Chiefdoms and their Analogues: Alternatives of Social Evolution at the Societal Level of Medium Cultural Complexity (March 25, 2011). Social Evolution & History, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 276-335, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1916480

Leonid Grinin (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Eurasian Center for Big History & System Forecasting ( email )

Rozhdestvenka 12
Moscow, 107031
Russia

HOME PAGE: http://www.sociostudies.org/ecbsf/

Volgograd Center for Social Research ( email )

Russia, 400079, Volgograd, Kirova street, 143
Volgograd, 400079
Russia

HOME PAGE: http://www.socionauki.ru/authors/grinin_l/

Andrey Korotayev

Russian State University for the Humanities

6
Miusskaya Square
Moscow, GSP-3, 125993
Russia

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