Alternatives of Social Evolution

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* Book: Alternatives of Social Evolution / Ed. by N. Kradin, A. Korotayev, & D. Bondarenko. Vladivostok: FEB RAS, 2000


See: Multi-Evolutionism or Non-Linear Evolution Theory

Contextual Quote

"The notion of evolution is not popular in contemporary Anthropology. Many researchers do not use it preferring to write about transformation, transit, or change. Evolution for them is synonymous to dogmatic understanding of human history (Yoffee 2005; Pauketat 2008). However, even critics of evolutionism do not appear to reject the very fact of continuous social change. In prehistory people were hunters and gatherers and were integrated in small bands. Later some of them experienced sedentarization and transition to food production, began to found towns and invent complex tools. It would be ridiculous to reject such changes. Another point is that contemporary vision of cultural transformations differs greatly from the naïve ideas of the 19th century evolutionists (see, e.g., Earle 2002; Claessen 2000; Carneiro 2003, Marcus 2008; Hanks, Lin-duff 2009; Earle, Kristiansen 2010 etc.). Contemporary approaches are more flexible and are based on a much more considerable set of evidence. That is why it would be wrong to criticize the scholars of the past for their knowledge of something worse than ours. They ought to be estimated in comparison with their contemporaries. So, we believe that the notion of evolution has a right to exist, and for already several decades we have been elaborating the ideas that can be called “new wave evolutionism”, or Multi-Evolutionism or Non-Linear Evolution Theory)."

- A_Korotayev_and_D_Bondarenko et al. [1]


Nikolay N. Kradin et al. :

"Alternatives of Social Evolution consists of five parts.

  • The first part includes theoretical studies of non-linear evolution.
  • Articles on the alternative pathways of the prehistoric societies’ evolution form the volume’s second part.
  • The evolutionary pathways of complex societies and state origins are the topics of the volume’s third and forth parts.

The closing part is devoted to nomadic societies."



1 Problems, Paradoxes, and Prospects of Evolutionism Henri J.M.Claessen

2 Alternativity of Social Evolution: Introductory Notes Andrey V. Korotayev, Nikolay N. Kradin, Victor de Munck, and Valeri A. Lynsha

3 Process VS. Stages: A False Dichotomy in Tracing the Riseof the State Robert L. Carneiro

4 The Change of Non-Change: Evolution of Human Regimesand the Structure of World History Nikolai S. Rozov

5 Cultural Evolution: Systems and Meta-System Alex Brown

6 East and West in History: A Short Abstract Leonid S.Vasiliev


7 Thoughts on the Evolution of Social Inequality: A Paradigmatic Analysis Ben Fitzhugh

8 Hunter-Gatherer Adaptations in Semi-Desert Areas Alexander Kazankov

9 Hierarchy and Equality Among Hunter-Gatherers of the North Pacific Rim: Towards a Structural History of Social Organization Peter P. Schweizer

10 Monopolization of Information and Social Inequality Olga Yu. Artemova

11 Religion, Communication, and the Genesis of Social Com-plexity in the European Neolithic Paul K. Wason and Maximilian O. Baldia


12 On the Emergence of State Aidan Southall

13 The Political Economy of Pristine State Formation Charles S. Spencer

14 The Pristine Myth of the Pristine State in America Richard P. Schaedel and David G. Robinson

15 Cyclical Transformations in North American Prehistory Stephen A. Kowalewski

16 Early State in the Classic Maya Lowlands: Epigraphic and Archaeological Evidence Dmirti Beliaev

17 Some Aspects of the Formation of the State in Ancient South Arabia Mohammed Maraqten


18 "Homologous Series" of Social Evolution and Alternativesto the State in World History (An Introduction) Dmitri Bondarenko

19 Once Again on Horizontal and Vertical Links in Structureof the Middle Range Societies Yuri E. Berezkin

20 The Stateless Polis: the Early State and the Ancient Greek Community Moshe Berent

21 The Chiefdom: Precursor of the Tribe? (Some Trends of the Evolution of the Political Systems of the North-East Yemen in the 1st And 2nd Millennia A.D.) Andrey V. Korotayev

22 The Society of Raybūn Sergey A. Frantsuzov

23 State and Administration in Kautilya`s "Arthashastra" Dmitri N. Lelioukhine


24 Nomadic Empires in Evolutionary Perspective Nikolay N. Kradin

25 The Socio-Political Structure of the Pechenegs Alexey V. Marey

26 Mongolian Nomadic Society of the Empire Period Tatiana D. Skrynnikova


27 The Mangyt Biy as a Crowned Chief: Chiefdoms in theNomadic History of Late Medieval Western Eurasia Vadim V. Trepavlov