This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.
This authored monograph analyses the determining factors of societal evolution: the interaction between individuals and the resulting relationship, which the author calls the "Social Bond". The book aims at providing a better understanding of social dynamics and social interaction, and the author develops two models which provide interesting new insights. The target audience primarily comprises academics working in the field of social complexity and related fields, but the book may also be beneficial for graduate students alike.
In this book, Erik W. Aslaksen builds on the view and model of society introduced in The Social Bond (Springer 2018), which portrays society as an information-processing system, and as both the result of the information and of the environment in which the information processing takes place. The processing power is provided by the individual, but is also greatly enhanced by the interaction between individuals, forming the collective intelligence that drives the evolution of society. In particular, this book focuses on the stability of that evolution, an issue that is of increasing concern given the current polarisation of the world society, both politically and economically, and the resultant interference in the operation of the collective intelligence. When we approach society as a genus and its evolution as a sequence of species, such as the family, clan, fiefdom, kingdom, and nation-state, the development of the next species - the world society - is now being thwarted by the desire of a minority to maintain a hegemonial position that resulted from a singularity in the process.
This book extends a previously published model of social evolution by using macroeconomic measures to indicate both the current state of the society, and its evolutionary trajectory. This model considers society as a system of interacting elements evolving through stages of increasing strength of interaction and complexity of structure. It measures society in constituting the world collectively, with nation-states as the elements, here described through macroeconomic measures such as GDP, government expenditure, and inequality. The economic data presented indicates that this stage is approaching the next evolutionary step, which is either the formation of a world society of nations, with an associated overarching common infrastructure absorbing some of the sovereign functions of nation-states as they exist today, or as a society of competing groups of nations, each bound by alliances and bilateral agreements. The book explores how the former faces great obstacles in the form of nationalism and a misunderstood concept of sovereignty, and poses that it is in an embryonic stage. The author poses that it is this structure that would be best equipped to handle common challenges, such as the environment and global warming, and topically, pandemics. A novel interdisciplinary text in social complexity, this book is of interest to researchers in socio-economic fields.