Articles to be published in 2023

Justin Gibbins. The Death of Belonging? Interactions between Neo-Medievalism, Security and National Identity


New medievalism or neo-medievalism challenges the authority and capacity of the state. This weakening or hollowing out of the state has implications most notably for security. Security impacts occur because a host of actors compete and adulterate the state’s monopoly on violence. Identities are also impacted by neo-medievalism, with multiple, cross-cutting and transnational networks of belonging all becoming more prevalent. However, a neglected area within the literature are the constraints and impacts national identity – the perceived sense of belonging to a nation based on shared culture, memories or institution – has on the neo-medievalist paradigm. Rather than seeing neo-medievalist challenges rendering national identity as increasingly obsolete, this paper focuses on how security considerations, fashioned by neo-medievalist trends, are themselves shaping national identity. This is addressed by examining three neo-medieval security developments: the changing nature of warfare, the increasing role of non-state actors and the prevalence of transnational organizations.

Keywords: national identity, neo-medievalism, organizations, security, states.

Monty G. Marshall and Benjamin R. Cole. Societal-System Analytics and the Problem of Factionalism in Emerging (and Declining) Democracies


For over twenty years the U.S. Government's Political Instability Task Force (PITF; originally known as the State Failure Task Force) conducted extensive analysis and modeling of political instability and democratic transition events. The two most recent phases of this research have identified the Polity indicator of “factionalism” (PARCOMP=3) to be the most statistically powerful, precursive condition in modeling the onsets of serious political instability (Goldstone et al 2005; Goldstone et al. 2010). This paper reports on the authors’ six-year analysis of the factionalism condition, which sought to document and confirm instances of factionalism in the contemporary period (since 1955) and identify common factors behind successful factionalism management strategies. The analysis began with a comprehensive review and accounting of every change in the Polity dataset since 1955. Through this review and documentation process, we found that transitions toward democracy that occurred in countries outside the global West (which occurred much earlier) were relatively rare and usually short-lived prior to 1985 but more recent transitions toward democracy have taken place far more frequently and, so far, have tended to persist (the so-called “third wave of democratization”). Among these “third wave” transitions, democratic regimes have been relatively stable in former one-party systems and have taken place almost exclusively in countries with little or no serious armed conflict during the contemporary period. We note that military regimes tend to precede volatile democratic transition experience due to the factionalism management strategy such regimes employ. One-party regimes, we hypothesize, are more successful at managing factionalism in the democratic transition process and, so, have more stable and less violent transitions. We note that established, long-standing democracies are not immune to political instability situations but that these disruptions tend to be shorter in duration and involve more limited violence. This paper introduces a theoretical model of the factionalism condition and offers some preliminary quantitative analysis of the relationship between factionalism outcome and pre-transition regime type.

Sidhant Jain, Bhawna Chuphal, Mallikarjun N. Shakarad. Effect of financial independence of Indian women on their marriage decisions


Mate choice is a complex process in all sexually reproducing animals. In case of humans, this process becomes more intense as social, economic and cultural norms influence this decision. A common observation among different human cultures is that the men prefer a young woman owing to her fertility whereas women prefer an older man who might have attained social status and economic stability, thus maximizing the Darwinian fitness of both the individuals. In this study, we analyzed the influence of financial independence of Indian women, which they attained as a result of boom in the IT sector, on their age of marriage and choice of groom (in terms of grooms’ age). Our results show that financially independent Indian women of post-IT boom period, preferred to marry late in their lives with a groom around their own age. On the contrary, men in both the timelines sought a young bride.

Keywords: Evolution, Darwinian fitness, Financial independence, marriage pattern, IT boom.

Andrey Korotayev et al. How Could the Global Ageing Affect the Global Value System? An Evolutionary Perspective


All demographic forecasts imply that global ageing will continue and even intensify in the coming decades. As some values may change with age, global ageing is likely to cause shifts in global values. Our analysis suggests that a shift towards cooperation is to be expected alongside a shift to conservative values, as these are two main evolutionary adaptations for group stability and increasing chances of offspring survival. These are observed for both males and females. Using World Values Survey data across various regions and country groups we find that both conservation and cooperation values indeed increase with age even with control for cohort effect. Older respondents tend to be more religious and support Conservation values as opposed to Openness values. They also tend to support values of Self-Transcendence/care for the others rather than Self-Enhancement/self-empowerment, and support pro-social values more, condemning free-riders and various ways of cheating on the social system. Thus, global ageing might not only contribute to growth of conservation values, but also might have beneficial effects by increasing support of pro-social values promoting concern and care for the welfare of others.

Gleb V. Aleksandrov. Survival, Adaptation, and Bargains: Native Political Strategies in Early Colonial New England


Many contemporary popular works and even some scholarly publications dealing with indigenous populations of the New World present native peoples as hapless victims of European expansionism that were incapable of preventing or even dealing with the continuous encroachment of white settlers on their traditional homelands. While the effect of European colonization on Native communities was often devastating, this perspective leaves out of consideration the ability of Native American societies to adapt to changing circumstances and to influence the re-shaping of the world around them. Indigenous leaders employed a number of adaptation strategies designed to foster the retention of tribal political organization, economic systems, and collective identity, at least to some extent. This paper explores the political strategies employed by native groups in New England in the 18th century, focusing on Native leaders who were the most successful in dealing with their European counterparts – Uncas, the Mohegan sachem and Robin Cassacinamon, the Pequot leader. We will explore the specific political tools used by these leaders, how those differed from traditional Native political strategies and why they were ultimately successful. We will also explore the possible adaptative strategies used by individuals not in positions of leadership. As we will show, Native Americans were not passive victims of circumstances but rather, they were active participants in the colonial encounter. Native adaptation strategies were well thought out and successful. They also had a significant and sometimes a defining influence on the development of the colonies.

Keywords: Native Americans, New England, colonial expansion, Native American politics, adaptation strategies.

Nataliya N. Meshcheryakova and Liudmila A. Vasilenko. The New Social Developments of Durkheim and Merton Theories on Anomie in Modern Society


The authors of this article consider anomie as a natural manifestation of the process of social evolution, especially macroevolution. Macroevolution implies a qualitative transformation of some social institutions with their system of social control into other social institutions with a different set of norms and sanctions. During the process of social macroevolution, the following scenarios are systematically observed: the old systems of social regulation have already ceased to function effectively, and the effective functioning of the new systems of social regulation has not yet begun. All this gives rise to the phenomenon of social anomie in all its variety of manifestations. The interpretations of anomie inspired by Durkheim and Merton still dominate the research literature. But, society is changing, so theories created a century ago cannot embrace all the nuances of the new social reality, such as the nonlinear behavior of a social system or the acceleration of social processes. We seek to understand how the anomie theory should be modernized to reflect the transformations of society and changes in social actors. For that, We are introduct the concept of reflexive anomie. This concept helps us better understand seemingly unwarranted, high-profile crimes like the cases of Anders Breivik in Norway or Stephen Paddock in the USA. We compare and contrast two of the possible approaches to explaining this asocial behavior: from the perspective of narcissistic personality disorder and reflexive anomie. The comparison of the resulting conclusions provides a deeper insight into the changes at the micro-level of the social system.

The proposed variants of social anomie concept development: normal anomie and reflexive anomie – link into a single semantic space both the changes that occur in society and the transformation of the social subject itself, take into account the effects of self-organization that arise in the virtual world in the process of network interaction, reflect the mobility and instability of modern society, the influence of a potentially possible tomorrow on the perception of the phenomena of the present day.

They can become a promising theoretical and methodological basis for the study of digital society, which is undergoing a permanent process of becoming, transformation of its institutions and processes.

Keywords: Durkheim, Merton, non-equilibrium society, anomie, reflexive anomie, normal anomie, social evolution, macroevolution, narcissistic personality disorder.

Grinin Leonid and Grinin Anton. The Reflection on Historical Materialism: Does the Concept Have a Future?


The article examines academic and intellectual merits of the central part of Marxism – historical materialism. The authors argue that historical materialism has many valuable findings and conclusions and analyze some of them, showing that they together with its methodology can be helpful for social scientist and for a historian theorizing and aspiring for wide analogues. There are given new explanations to this phenomenon as the restrictions are revealed of the existing model of historical materialism. A peculiar attention is paid to Marx’s conclusion that the changing developmental level of productive forces inevitably leads to changes in all other spheres of societal life; moreover, these changes proceed far from automatically and immediately but through the resolution of structural and systemic crisis in a society. The article presents a survey on the history of the Western studies within historical materialism framework starting from the end of the 19th century at the general background of the ups and downs of the Western Marxism and its crisis after the collapse of socialism. The authors show the waves of the Western Marxists' attenuating and increasing interest in historical materialism. The latter to a certain extent should be considered as a program for scientific research which is far from its realization. The authors make a conclusion that today one can hardly work within the framework of historical materialism conception since many of its postulates should be revised. It is very important, that historical materialism can affect social science mainly in an indirect way through a creative acquiring and interpretation of its method, approaches, and partially of its categories and discourse and with integration other concepts. Within social science some directions are discussed which can be combined with some ideas of historical materialism. On the other hand, today the fate of historical materialism and Marxism is defined by a certain paradox: its influence increases along with the merge with other theories, therefore they, nevertheless, continue to exist. Since it has become a part of the general intellectual legacy one can figuratively speak about its genetic drift.

Keywords: Karl Marx, historical materialism, Western Marxism, productive forces, productive relations, basis, superstructure, production principles, Marxist historiography, post-historical materialism, methodology, general intellectual legacy, driving forces of historical process.

Alexay Romanchuk. Social Evolution in the Mirror of a Journal: to the Twentieth Anniversary of the “Social Evolution & History”

The “Social Evolution & History” celebrates its twentieth anniversary. This is a nice reason to sum up some results and evaluate the path traveled.

Well, the result seems to be very impressive. The journal has obviously become a significant event in world science.

Over the past twenty years, 375 articles have been published. Among their authors are perhaps the majority of the world's largest experts in the field of the theory of social evolution today. Undoubtedly, the main merit here belongs to the inspirers and founders of the journal (among whom I would especially single out L. E. Grinin and A. V. Korotayev), who managed to gather all these stars of the first magnitude into a single and very productive scientific community.

And first of all, of course, it is worth carrying out a certain generalization of the considered set of articles.

So, if we try to group by topic all the articles published in Social Evolution & History over the years, it clearly emerges that they mainly focus on several issues – which will be presented below.

Special Issue dedicated to the memory of Henri J. M. Claessen

Guest Editors

Petr Skalník, Nikolai Kradin and Renée Hagesteijn