2014.05.25 Origins of the state and related subjects – Outline of the world congress Poland 2014

Origins of the state and related subjects – Outline of the world congress Poland 2014
(under the auspices of the IUAES Commission on Theoretical Anthropology)

The research on the origins of the state has made a considerable progress during the last 50 years. New discoveries by archeologists, anthropologists, historians and political scientists have brought into the light various empirically based theories and hypotheses which inspire further research and encourage new generations of investigators to come forward with even more refined theses and hypotheses. Especially notable have been works of Elman Service, Morton Fried, Ronald Cohen, Robert Carneiro, Kent Flannery, Bruce Tigger, Pierre Clastres, Henri Claessen, Lawrence Krader, Timothy Earle, Kristian Kristiansen, and Gary Feinman to name only a few. Russian scholars Dmitri Bondarenko, Leonid Grinin, Andrey Korotayev and Nikolay Kradin came with analogues and alternatives to the ruling neoevolutionist theories. The international journal Social Evolution and History, has emerged as one of the the standard journals for new viewpoints, research results, and fielding discussions of the most controversial topics. The recent issue (vol. 11, No.2) carrying the "reformulation" article by Carneiro followed by responses and Carneiro´s reply is an example of the creative challenge within the state origins research. The national conference of the Polish Academy of Sciences which took place in Poznań in November 2012 is another example of the attractiveness of the problematic of the state origins.

It was at that conference that Petr Skalník suggested that a world congress be organized in Poland which would bring together researchers from all continents who will present their latest findings and discuss newest versions of theories concerning various ways of political centralization processes, be they called chiefdomhood or statehood or otherwise. The research on the state origins and related topics is based on empirical evidence which while narrowing the space for conjecture allows for new hypotheses and suggestions for research on thus far unusual themes. The congress will preferably consist of only plenary sessions. There will be plentiful opportunity for discussion, individual gatherings, networking, and good food. We hope to publish the conference proceedings with a prestigious press.

The congress will be held in a congenial atmosphere of the Wigry Conference Centre located in beautiful environment of northeastern Poland (www.wigry.pro), from 7 to 14 September 2014.

Abstracts of proposed papers are welcome (max. 500 words). They should reach the organizers by not later than 31 October 2013 (skalnik.petr@gmail.com). The evaluation of abstracts will be carried out by a scientific committee composed of Renée Hagesteijn, Nikolay Kradin, Chapurukha Kusimba, Aleksander Posern-Zieliński, Michał Tymowski, Mariusz Ziółkowski and Petr Skalník. The authors of accepted abstracts will be notified not later than 15 November 2013.

18 September 2013 Petr Skalník, COTA Chair