The Sociocultural Evolution of World-Systems

Authored by: Christopher Chase-Dunn

Handbook on Evolution and Society

Print publication date:  January  2015
Online publication date:  November  2015

Print ISBN: 9781612058146
eBook ISBN: 9781315634203
Adobe ISBN: 9781317258339


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This chapter discusses the differences between biological and sociocultural evolution and provides an overview of the comparative evolutionary world-systems perspective. Research on the growth/decline phases and scale changes in the sizes of cities and empires provides support for the hypothesis of semiperipheral development, and this implies that interpolity relations are an important component of the emergence of sociocultural complexity The chapter also discusses the contemporary world situation in historical context, focusing on five emergent crises in the twenty-first century.

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