rise, fall and upward sweeps:

the emergence of a global state*

Christopher Chase-Dunn

Department of Sociology and Institute for Research on World-Systems

University of California-Riverside


*Thanks to E. N. Anderson and Peter Turchin for their contributions to ideas developed below.


This is the outline for an interactive teleconference on Human Sciences and Complexity, a 4-campus interdisciplinary project that includes

 scholars from UC-Irvine, UCLA, UC-San Diego and UCR. It is based on research proposal that is being supported by the U.S.

National Science Foundation’s program on Human Social Dynamics. That proposal is available at

http://irows.ucr.edu/research/citemp/globstat/globstatprop.htm. The time of the interactive teleconference is from 2 to 3:05 on

Friday, October 14 ,and the UCR location will be in Olmsted 1208. An earlier version of this lecture presented at the University of Victoria

Is available at http://irows.ucr.edu/cd/lectures/lecturestoc.htm  


The comparative world-systems perspective: systems of societies as the unit of analysis for explaining cultural evolution.

            Core/periphery hierarchies

            Semiperipheral development

World-systems: small, medium and large. Bounding premodern world-systems. Important interaction networks

Waves of network expansion and contraction (pulsation and eventual globalization)

Expansion of the central system and incorporation of other regional systems

Polities: bands, tribes, chiefdoms, states, empires

The iteration model (not time today). See  http://irows.ucr.edu/papers/irows20/irows20.htm

Rise and fall and upward sweeps of hierarchy formation

            Semiperipheral marcher chiefdoms

            Semiperipheral marcher states

            Semiperipheral capitalist city-states

Rise and Fall with Upward Sweeps of Polity Size


Modeling agrarian empires. Two-level models. States and interstate systems. Endogenous to what?


Modeling thallasocratic capitalist city-states

From core-wide empires created by tributary marcher states to colonial empires and a multicentric core with a hegemon.

Waves of colonization and decolonization: global polity formation


Waves of colonization and decolonization based on Henige (1970)

Types of international political integration:

A peaceful system of sovereign states

A confederation of states

A real global state with the power to outlaw warfare and to enforce the law

Global democracy




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