Tribes, Institutions, Markets, Networks – A framework about Societal Evolution

What forms account for the organization of societies?  How have people organized their societies across the ages?  The answer may be reduced to four basic forms of organization:

  • the kinship-based tribe, as denoted by the structure of extended families, clans, and other lineage systems;
  • the hierarchical institution, as exemplified by the army, the (Catholic) church, and ultimately the bureaucratic state;
  • the competitive-exchange market, as symbolized by merchants and traders responding to forces of supply and demand;
  • and the collaborative network, as found today in the web-like ties among some NGOs devoted to social advocacy.

Civil society appears to be the realm most affected and strengthened by the rise of the network form, auguring a vast rebalancing of relations among state, market, and civil-society actors around the world. As will be restated later, the ability of a society to combine these forms into a whole system is what proves crucial to its evolution. To do well in the twenty-first century, an information-age society must embrace all four forms.

Read

About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
This entry was posted in Civil society, Hierarchy, Market, Networks, Society and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s