source:CCSS Meeting #39: Scaling in Spreading Phenomena Scaling sociopolitical complexity in traditional human societies – Current affairs – Universiteit Utrecht
Thursday 18 March 2021 from 16:00 to 17:30
CCSS Meeting #39: Scaling in Spreading Phenomena Scaling sociopolitical complexity in traditional human societies
This lecture is an online discussion organised under our new Scaling in Complex Systems lecture series. Under this new series, we shall hear from researchers investigating mechanisms of scaling, such as self-organized criticality, preferential processes, multiplicative processes and sample space reducing processes.
For the foreseeable future, lectures will remain predominantly online.
Marcus Hamilton is an Associate Professor of Data Analytics in the Department of Anthropology, at the University of Texas. He received his PhD in 2008 from the University of New Mexico, where he began his work on archaeology and human evolutionary ecology. He utilizes theory and techniques from theoretical ecology, statistical physics, and evolutionary anthropology, in combination with interdisciplinary data sets to investigate the evolution of human ecology and social organization. Other areas of ongoing research include Hunter-gatherer archaeology (with a focus on the Paleoindian period of North America), evolutionary anthropology (Human macroecology; ecological, evolutionary, and economic theory), and complex adaptive systems (Scaling theory; allometry; collective phenomena). The goal of his research is to develop a quantitative theory that provides a mechanistic understanding of the evolution of the complex human ecological niche over time and space.
Human societies exhibit a diversity of social organizations that vary widely in size, structure, and complexity. Today, human sociopolitical complexity ranges from stateless small-scale societies of a few hundred individuals to complex states of millions, most of this diversity evolving only over the last few hundred years. Understanding how sociopolitical complexity evolved over time and space has always been a central focus of the social sciences. Yet despite this long-term interest, a quantitative understanding of how sociopolitical complexity varies across cultures is not well developed. Here we use scaling analysis to examine the statistical structure of a global sample of over a thousand human societies across multiple levels of sociopolitical complexity. First, we show that levels of sociopolitical complexity are self-similar as adjacent levels of jurisdictional hierarchy see a four-fold increase in population size, a two-fold increase in geographic range, and therefore a doubling of population density. Second, we show how this self-similarity leads to the scaling of population size and geographic range. As societies increase in complexity population density is reconfigured in space and quantified by scaling parameters. However, there is considerable overlap in population metrics across all scales suggesting that while more complex societies tend to have larger and denser populations, larger and denser populations are not necessarily more complex.
There will be 45-min lecture from the speaker, followed by a 45-min Question & Answer session.
To attend the lecture, please click this link external linkat 16:00 on Thursday 18th March 2021.
The event will be held via Zoom.Start date and time18 March 2021 – 16:00 End date and time18 March 2021 – 17:30LocationLink to Webinar