COMPETITION - don't have what we would recognize...

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COMPETITION & WARFARE Intro Most analyses of human conflict stress non-ecological causes: psychological, social- structural, political, cultural, or ideological However, there is a substantial literature in ecological anthropology on this subject, though relatively little agreement within it In these lecture notes, I cover the following topics: 1) definition & prevalence of warfare 2) evolutionary theory of conflict 3) ecological theory of competition 4) ecological analyses of human warfare Definition and Prevalence Many possible definitions of warfare, but one common definition used by anthropologists is: organized armed aggression between members of politically autonomous social groups This avoids calling kin feuds, gang fights, etc "war" since such groups are not politically autonomous; it also avoids arbitrarily restricting term to societies with professional military & centralized political control [Note that this definition also restricts warfare to human species, since other animals
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Unformatted text preview: don't have what we would recognize as "politically autonomous groups" or military technology; in fact, organized inter-group aggression rare among other species (except social insects), but it has been described for a number of group-living primates (including chimpanzees) and carnivores (wolves, lions, hyenas)] Using above definition, how common is warfare? Data from a cross-cultural sample of 87 societies representative of various geographical regions and types of sociopolitical organization [ see graph ] reveals that : • 61% of societies in this sample engaged in frequent warfare (at least yearly) • 21% engaged in war less often (at least 1/generation) • 18% of societies rarely/never went to war (only 8% of truly autonomous societies) • nearly 40% had high mortality in war (>one third of combatants died)...
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