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Culture, Conflict, and Counterinsurgency$
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Thomas H. Johnson and Barry Zellen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785952

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785952.001.0001

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The Use of Evolutionary Theory in Modeling Culture and Cultural Conflict

The Use of Evolutionary Theory in Modeling Culture and Cultural Conflict

(p.46) 2 The Use of Evolutionary Theory in Modeling Culture and Cultural Conflict
Culture, Conflict, and Counterinsurgency

Marc W. D. Tyrrell

Stanford University Press

This chapter presents a model for one potential Darwin theory of cultural evolution. Initially, the author discusses the theoretical work of numerous sources to construct an evolutionary model of culture. Further discussion defines the necessary units of analysis for such a theory. Additionally, the author presents a very cursory examination of the environmental factors that serve to construct the work-space of ’warfare’. Two-short case examples, one from Mosul 2006-2007 and the other from a jihadi blog, are presented as illustrations of the model. The author draws on the chapter’s illustrations and analysis to conclude that the Darwinian evolutionary theory of culture can be predictive without falling into the determinist or theological fallacies with a groups constrained and limited number of options.

Keywords:   cultural evolution, Bronislaw Malinowski, ecological niche, kinetic technologies, Maoist model, Mosul, Jihad

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