Browsing All posts tagged under »social change«

Nina Witoszek. The Beauty of “Getting to Norway”: Comments on David Sloan Wilson and Dag’s Hessen’s essay “Blueprint for the Global Village”

September 7, 2014 by


In the acclaimed study The Origins of Political Order (2011), Francis Fukuyama describes the project of building an exemplary social democracy – with a generous welfare state, individual rights, and the rule of law – in terms of “getting to Denmark.”[1] For people living in genocidal or troubled parts of the world, Demark has become […]

David Sloan Wilson and Dag Olav Hessen. Blueprint for the Global Village

September 4, 2014 by


Life consists of units within units. In the biological world, we have genes, individuals, groups, species, and ecosystems – all nested within the biosphere. In the human world, we have genes, individuals, families, villages and cities, provinces, and nations – all nested within the global village. In both worlds, a problem lurks at every rung […]

Murals versus Flags: A Symbolically Dense Landscape, continued

July 21, 2014 by


As I said in my previous blog, the Catholic areas in Belfast tend to be symbolically demarcated primarily with murals, while the Protestant ones are festooned with flags. The distinction is not absolute, and you can see the Irish Tricolor (green-white-orange) in two photographs in the previous blog. Still, they are mostly found in the […]

Ideology Is Heritable Yet Societies Can Change Their Views Quickly. A guest blog by Jonathan Haidt.

December 16, 2013 by


Bernard Winograd has written an intriguing post, summarizing the findings one must grapple with when thinking about how attitudes can change within a single generation. The rapid change in the USA on gay marriage has caught many people’s attention, coming at a time when many popular books are saying that political attitudes are to some […]

We Really Have no Idea Why Political Attitudes Change (or Not). A Guest Blog by Bernard Winograd

December 14, 2013 by


At the risk of oversimplification, consider a few key findings of researchers into human beliefs and their evolutionary foundations. Human belief systems are rooted in biologically evolved senses of morality. While beliefs about many matters differ widely from culture to culture, there are certain underlying belief systems that are virtually universal in human culture, such […]

Sticking My Neck Out

August 31, 2013 by


When 15 years ago I started working within the scientific discipline that eventually became Cliodynamics, my initial plan was to concentrate entirely on past societies. Of course, history doesn’t end in, say, 1800. But there are dangers in pushing a historical analysis all the way to the present day. First, we are too close to […]

An Imperfect Time Machine

August 20, 2013 by


In the previous blog, I asked why some nations are wealthy, stable, and happy, and others are not. Many theories have tried to provide an answer to this question. How do we decide which of the competing theories is true? So far, economists have not done a compelling job addressing this issue. Let’s take Why […]


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