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Politics in Evolution: The First 5 Million Years, and the Next 100*

Peter A. Corning (Institute for the Study of Complex Systems, USA)

Biopolitics at 50 Years

ISBN: 978-1-80262-108-2, eISBN: 978-1-80262-107-5

Publication date: 21 November 2022


Politics in human societies represents a variation, and elaboration, on a major evolutionary theme. Political processes have played an important functional role in goal-oriented, cooperative social systems in the natural world. This view of politics is also consistent with a causal theory – known as the Synergism Hypothesis – which explains the rise of complexity in evolution over time and, equally important, the frequent examples of devolution and dissolution. In addition to a brief discussion of this theory, the evolution of political systems in humankind will be described, from its possible origins among our remote australopithecine ancestors to the emergence of complex modern civilizations. Now, however, we confront an existential threat to our species, and to many others, due mainly to climate change. The future is very problematic. I will argue here that the only viable path going forward is a new social contract coupled with (democratic) global governance – a global “superorganism.”



Corning, P.A. (2022), "Politics in Evolution: The First 5 Million Years, and the Next 100* ", Wohlers, T. and Fletcher, A. (Ed.) Biopolitics at 50 Years (Research in Biopolitics, Vol. 13), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 27-45.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023 Peter A. Corning. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited