The relationship between organizational complexity and demographic scale is an enduring research problem at the intersection of the natural and social sciences and has far reaching implications for the study of social evolution, particularly the emergence and collapse of complex social organizations such as chiefdoms, states and empires. Anthropological models of social evolution universally assume that population growth plays a critical role in the development of organizational complexity; however, the relationship between organizational complexity and demographic scale has not been formalized and cross-culturally validated. There is a rich yet unsystematized body of diachronic organizational and demographic data describing the evolution of organizational complexity in 10 archaeologically known cases of primary state formation. Using this dataset, this essay proposes and tests a complex network model that describes state societies as discrete, self-similar, hierarchical social networks. The model accurately describes how organizational complexity and population scale in all cases. The complex network architecture of state societies suggests that further advances in our understanding of modern social organization may be found by a deeper investigation of the role of human nature in the evolution of human societies.
|Date made available||May 2 2018|
|Publisher||figshare Academic Research System|