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CHIEFDOMS

Yesterday and Today


edited by Robert L. Carneiro, American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York, Leonid E. Grinin, Russian Academy of Sciences and National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, and Andrey V. Korotayev, National Research University Higher School of Economics and Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

What many anthropologists regard as the major step in political development occurred when, for the first time in history, previously autonomous villages gave up their individual sovereignties and were brought together into a multi-village political unit—the chiefdom.

Though long neglected as a major stage in history, recent years have seen the chiefdom come in for increased attention. As its importance has been more fully recognized, it has become the object of serious scholarly analysis and interpretation.

In this volume specialists in political evolution draw on data from ethnography, archaeology, and history and apply fresh insights to enhance the study of the chiefdom. The papers present penetrating analyses of many aspects of the chiefdom, from how this form of political organization first arose to the role it played in giving rise to the next major stage in the development of human society—the state.

From the reviews . . .

Chiefdoms: Yesterday and Today is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in sociopolitical development in the past or present and it should be a wake-up call for anyone still clinging to social taxonomies or with neo-evolutionary tendencies. . . . [E]nlightening and actually affordable.”
Thomas E. Emerson in Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology

CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION

Chiefdoms from the Beginnings Until Now
Leonid E. Grinin and Andrey V. Korotayev

Chiefdoms in Evolutionary Perspective
Robert L. Carneiro

II. CHIEFDOMS AND POLITICAL EVOLUTION

Chiefdoms and Their Analogues: Alternatives of Social Evolution at the Societal Level of Medium Cultural Complexity
Leonid E. Grinin and Andrey V. Korotayev

On Chiefs and Chiefdoms
Henri J. M. Claessen

The Emergence of Multi-Agent Polities of the Northern Central European Plains in the Early Middle Ages, 600–900 A.D.
Ludomir R. Lozny

Heterarchy and Hierarchy Among the Ancient Mongolian Nomads
Nikolay N. Kradin

III. CHIEFDOMS AND STATES

Chiefdom Confederacies and State Origins
D. Blair Gibson

Complex Chiefdom: Precursor of the State or Its Analogue?
Leonid E. Grinin

IV. FROM PAST TO PRESENT

Chiefs, Chieftaincies, Chiefdoms, and Chiefly Confederacies: Power in the Evolution of Political Systems
Timothy K. Earle

Chiefdom at War with Chiefless People While the State Looks On
Petr Skalník

Beyond States and Empires: Chiefdoms and Informal Politics
Patrick Chabal, Gary M. Feinman, and Petr Skalník

V. CONCLUSION

Chiefdoms: Beyond Time?
Leonid E. Grinin and Andrey V. Korotayev

Index

ISBN 978-0-9898249-8-9/paperback/370 pages/illus./March 2017/$34.95