Yesterday and Today
Edited by Robert L Carneiro, Leonid E. Grinin and Andrey Korotayev
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.
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
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.
Thomas E. Emerson, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 42, 2017- Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 42, 2017
[Many] of the contributors to Chiefdoms: Yesterday and Today approached their subject with the idea in mind of evaluating the history of ideas in a critical and productive manner that will enrich anthropological teaching and research. [...] Neo-evolutionist ideas are now regarded by many as antiquated, yet are well represented in the book...Other chapters present new ideas, without, thankfully, abandoning the subject matter.
Richard E. Blanton, Antiquity, 92.361 (2018)- Antiquity, 92.361 (2018)
This volume is an impressive synthesis of the varied questions of how and in what forms chiefdoms have appeared in human history. Not only are the materials reviewed cross-cultural (e.g., Polynesia, Africa, Mongolia), but the scholarly participation is interdisciplinary and transnational (much important Russian work is being showcased for an English-language readership.).- CHOICE