Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-78dcdb465f-hcvhd Total loading time: 18.993 Render date: 2021-04-15T08:30:32.046Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": false, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true }

The ecology of empire

The dynamics of strategic differentiation-integration in two competing Western European biocultural groups

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 December 2019

Aurelio José Figueredo
University of Arizona
Mateo Peñaherrera-Aguirre
University of Arizona
Heitor Barcellos Ferreira Fernandes
University of Arizona
Sara Lindsey Lomayesva
University of Arizona
Michael Anthony Woodley
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Steven Charles Hertler
College of Saint Elizabeth
Matthew Alexandar Sarraf
University of Rochester
E-mail address:
Get access


We tracked the relative integration and differentiation among life history traits over the period spanning AD 1800–1999 in the Britannic and Gallic biocultural groups. We found that Britannic populations tended toward greater strategic differentiation, while Gallic populations tended toward greater strategic integration. The dynamics of between-group competition between these two erstwhile rival biocultural groups were hypothesized as driving these processes. We constructed a latent factor that specifically sought to measure between-group competition and residualized it for the logarithmic effects of time. We found a significantly asymmetrical impact of between-group competition, where the between-group competition factor appeared to be driving the diachronic integration in Gallic populations but had no significantly corresponding influence on the parallel process of diachronic differentiation in Britannic populations. This suggests that the latter process was attributable to some alternative and unmeasured causes, such as the resource abundance consequent to territorial expansion rather than contraction.

© Association for Politics and the Life Sciences 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.


Figueredo, A. al., “A sequential canonical cascade model of social biogeography: Plants, parasites, and people,” Evolutionary Psychological Science, 2017, 3(1): 4061.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sober, E., The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984).Google Scholar
Wilson, D. S., “A theory of group selection,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 1975, 72(1): 143146.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wilson, D. S. and Sober, E., “Reintroducing group selection to the human behavioral sciences,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1994, 17(4): 585608.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilson, D. S. and Wilson, E. O., “Rethinking the theoretical foundation of sociobiology,” Quarterly Review of Biology, 2007, 82(4): 327348.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wynne-Edwards, V. C., Animal Dispersion in Relation to Social Behavior (London: Oliver and Boyd, 1962).Google Scholar
Richerson, al., “Cultural group selection follows Darwin’s classic syllogism for the operation of selection,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2016, 39: e58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hamilton, W. D., “Selfish and spiteful behaviour in an evolutionary model,” Nature, 1970, 228(5277): 1218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fernandes, H. B. F., Zerbe, J., Peñaherrera-Aguire, M., and Figueredo, A. J., “Humans: Between-group conflicts,” in Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, T. K. Shackelford and V. A. Weekes-Shackelford, eds. (New York: Springer, 2018), in press.Google Scholar
McDonald, M. M., Navarrete, C. D., and Vugt, M. Van, “Evolution and the psychology of intergroup conflict: The male warrior hypothesis,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2012, 367(1589): 670679.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Preuschoft, S. and van Schaik, C. P., “Dominance and communication: Conflict management in various social setting,” in Natural Conflict Resolution, F. Aureli and de, , eds. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), pp. 77105.Google Scholar
Ruffin, R., “David Ricardo’s discovery of comparative advantageHistory of Political Economy, 2002, 34(4): 727748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peñaherrera-Aguire, M., Fernandes, H. B. F., and Figueredo, A. J., “Primates: Between-group conflicts,” in Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, T. K. Shackelford and V. A. Weekes-Shackelford, eds. (New York: Springer, 2018), in press.Google Scholar
Wrangham, R. W., “Evolution of coalitionary killing,” American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 1999, 110(S29): 130.3.0.CO;2-E>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Patton, J. Q., “Reciprocal altruism and warfare: A case from the Ecuadorian Amazon,” in Adaptation and Human Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective, L. Cronk, N. A. Chagnon, and W. Irons, eds. (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 2000), pp. 417436.Google Scholar
Boyd, R. and Richerson, P. J., “Punishment allows the evolution of cooperation (or anything else) in sizable groups,” Ethology and Sociobiology, 1992, 13(3): 171195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Soltis, J., Boyd, R., and Richerson, P. J., “Can group-functional behaviors evolve by cultural group selection? An empirical test,” Current Anthropology, 1995, 36(3): 473494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Richerson, Peteret al., “Cultural group selection plays an essential role in explaining human cooperation: A sketch of the evidence,” Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2016, 39: e30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kirkegaard, E. O. al., “Biogeographic ancestry, cognitive ability and socioeconomic outcomes,” Psych, 2019, 1(1): 125, Scholar
Okasha, S., Evolution and the Levels of Selection (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Damuth, J. and Heisler, I. L., “Alternative formulations of multilevel selection,” Biology and Philosophy, 1988, 3(4): 407430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heisler, I. L. and Damuth, J., “A method for analyzing selection in hierarchically structured populations,” The American Naturalist, 1987, 130(4): 582602.10.1086/284732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
MacArthur, R. H. and Wilson, E. O., The Theory of Island Biogeography, vol. 1 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellis, B. al., “Fundamental dimensions of environmental risk,” Human Nature, 2009, 20(2): 204268.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Okasha, S., “Multilevel selection and the major transitions in evolution,” Philosophy of Science, 2005, 72(5): 10131025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Woodley, M. A. of Menieet al., The Rhythm of the West: A Biohistory of the Modern Era, AD 1600 to Present (Washington, DC: Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Monograph Series, Number 37, 2017).Google Scholar
Figueredo, A. al., “Multiple successful tests of the strategic differentiation-integration effort (SD-IE) hypothesis,” Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 2013, 7(4): 361381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Woodley, M. A. and Fernandes, H. B. F., “Strategic and cognitive differentiation-integration effort in a study of 76 countries,” Personality and Individual Differences, 2014, 57: 37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ricardo, D., On the Principles of Political Economy, and Taxation (London: John Murray, 1817).Google Scholar
Hutchinson, G. E., “Homage to Santa Rosalia or why are there so many kinds of animals?,” The American Naturalist, 1959, 93(870): 145159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Abrams, P., “The theory of limiting similarity,” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 1983, 14: 359376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Figueredo, A. al., “War and peace: A diachronic social biogeography of life history strategy and between-group relations in two western European populations,” Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences, 2018, 10(1): 3675.Google Scholar
Bolt, al., “Rebasing ‘Maddison’: New income comparisons and the shape of long-run economic development,” GGDC Research Memorandum 174, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen, 2018.Google Scholar
Sarkees, M. R. and Wayman, F., Resort to War: 1816–2007 (Washington DC: CQ Press, 2010).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roser, M. and Ortiz-Ospina, E., “World population growth (2017),”, accessed February 2017.Google Scholar
Ajus, F., Lindgren, M., and Rosling, O., “Total fertility rate (2015),”, accessed March 2018.Google Scholar
Johannson, K., Lindgren, M., and Rosling, O., “Infant mortality (2015),”, accessed March 2018.Google Scholar
Lindgren, M., “Life expectancy (2015),”, accessed March 2018.Google Scholar
Michel, al., “Quantitative analysis of culture using millions of digitized books,” Science, 2011, 331(6014): 176182.10.1126/science.1199644CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gorsuch, R. L., Factor Analysis, 2nd ed. (Hillsdale, NJ Lawrence Erlbaum, 1983).Google Scholar
Figueredo, A. al., “Multivariate modeling of missing data within and across assessment waves,” Addiction, 2000, 95(Suppl. 3): 361380.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hertler, S. al., Life History Evolution: A Biological Meta-Theory for the Social Sciences (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).10.1007/978-3-319-90125-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Darwin, C., The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (London: John Murray, 1871).Google Scholar
Sherman, R. A., Figueredo, A. J., and Funder, D. C., “The behavioral correlates of overall and distinctive life history strategy,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2013, 105(5): 873–88.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gat, A., War in Human Civilization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).Google Scholar
Keeley, L. H., War before Civilization (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997).Google Scholar
Rosenbaum, S., Vecellio, V., and Stoinski, T., “Observations of severe and lethal coalitionary attacks in wild mountain gorillas,” Scientific Reports, 2016, 6: 37018.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wilson, M. L., “Chimpanzees, warfare and the invention of peace,” in War, Peace, and Human Nature: The Convergence of Evolutionary and Cultural Views, D. P. Fry, ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 361388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Estabrook, V., “Violence and warfare in the European Mesolithic and Paleolithic,” in Violence and Warfare among Hunter-Gatherers, M. W. Allen and T. L. Jones, eds. (New York: Routledge, 2016), pp. 4969.10.4324/9781315415970-3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Guilaine, J. and Zammit, , The Origins of War: Violence in Prehistory. (Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2008).Google Scholar
Lahr, M. al., “Inter-group violence among early Holocene hunter-gatherers of West Turkana, Kenya,” Nature, 2016, 529(7586): 394398.10.1038/nature16477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
LeBlanc, S. A., Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2003).Google Scholar
Wrangham, R. W., Wilson, M. L., and Muller, M. N., “Comparative rates of violence in chimpanzees and humans,” Primates, 2006, 47(1): 1426.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Horan, R. D., Bulte, E., and Shogren, J. F., “How trade saved humanity from biological exclusion: An economic theory of Neanderthal extinction,” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2005, 58(1): 129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ball, W., Rome in the East: Transformation of an Empire, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2016).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pollins, B. M., “Conflict, cooperation, and commerce: The effect of international political interactions on bilateral trade flows,” American Journal of Political Science, 1989, 33(3): 737761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keenan, P. A. and Carnevale, P. J. D., “Positive effects of within‐group cooperation on between‐group negotiation,” Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 1989, 19(12 Pt. 2): 977992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Puurtinen, M. and Mappes, T., “Between-group competition and human cooperation,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 2009, 276(1655): 355360.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hutchinson, E. G., A Treatise on Limnology (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 1957).Google Scholar
Zhang, D. al., “The causality analysis of climate change and large-scale human crisis,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011, 108(42): 1729617301.10.1073/pnas.1104268108CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Fernandes, H. B. al., “Regional relations between phenotypic and economic diversity and their ecological predictors in Italy, Spain and Mexico,” Mankind Quarterly, 2017, 57(3): 355374.Google Scholar
Bowles, S., Choi, J.-K., and Hopfensitz, A., “The co-evolution of individual behaviors and social institutions,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2003, 223(2): 135147.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hauert, C. and Imhof, L. A., “Evolutionary games in deme structured, finite populations,” Journal of Theoretical Biology, 2012, 299: 106112.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nuismer, S. L., Thompson, J. N., and Gomulkiewicz, R., “Gene flow and geographically structured coevolution,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 1999, 266(1419): 605609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, J. N., “Specific hypotheses on the geographic mosaic of coevolution,” The American Naturalist, 1999, 153(S5): S1S14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wilson, D. S., “Structured demes and the evolution of group-advantageous traits,” The American Naturalist, 1977, 111(977): 157185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Figueredo et al. supplementary material

Figueredo et al. supplementary material


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Full text views reflects PDF downloads, PDFs sent to Google Drive, Dropbox and Kindle and HTML full text views.

Total number of HTML views: 16
Total number of PDF views: 54 *
View data table for this chart

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 06th December 2019 - 15th April 2021. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The ecology of empire
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The ecology of empire
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The ecology of empire
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *