Selecting a Sample of Societies for Comparative Coding

Part of the Fundamental Issues in Archaeology book series (FIAR)

One goal of this work is to enrich what we perceive to be methodologically limited approaches to theory-building in the collective action literature. Collective action theorists often depend heavily on the results of experimental work with the prisoner dilemma game, an approach we find of limited utility for a research program based around theory-testing from empirical data that reflect the complexities of local cultural and historical factors. We also aimed to overcome limitations owing to the facts that that theory testing by collective action theorists typically does not address issues of validity and reliability (for example, we see little use of probability statistics), and tends to emphasize data drawn from European and Mediterranean history (Levi 1988). Here we enrich theory-testing by wedding collective action theory to the methodological rigor of cross-cultural research in anthropology (e.g., Ember and Ember 2001), and by analyzing a world-wide sample of societies.


Collective Action Code Decision Comparative Code Focal Period Governing Apparatus 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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