Stateless society

  • map of the world in 1000 bce color-coded by type of society. at this time, stateless societies were the norm.
      hunter-gatherers
      nomadic pastoralists
      simple farming societies
      complex farming societies/chiefdoms
      state societies
      uninhabited
      area of iron working, c. 1000 bce.
      area of bronze working, c. 1000 bce.

    a stateless society is a society that is not governed by a state, or, especially in common american english, has no government.[1] in stateless societies, there is little concentration of authority; most positions of authority that do exist are very limited in power and are generally not permanently held positions; and social bodies that resolve disputes through predefined rules tend to be small.[2] stateless societies are highly variable in economic organization and cultural practices.[3]

    while stateless societies were the norm in human prehistory, few stateless societies exist today; almost the entire global population resides within the jurisdiction of a sovereign state. in some regions nominal state authorities may be very weak and wield little or no actual power. over the course of history most stateless peoples have been integrated into the state-based societies around them.[4]

    some political philosophies, particularly anarchism, consider the state an unwelcome institution and stateless societies the ideal.

  • prehistoric peoples
  • as a political ideal
  • social and economic organization
  • see also
  • references
  • further reading
  • external links

Map of the world in 1000 BCE color-coded by type of society. At this time, stateless societies were the norm.
  uninhabited
  Area of iron working, c. 1000 BCE.
  Area of bronze working, c. 1000 BCE.

A stateless society is a society that is not governed by a state, or, especially in common American English, has no government.[1] In stateless societies, there is little concentration of authority; most positions of authority that do exist are very limited in power and are generally not permanently held positions; and social bodies that resolve disputes through predefined rules tend to be small.[2] Stateless societies are highly variable in economic organization and cultural practices.[3]

While stateless societies were the norm in human prehistory, few stateless societies exist today; almost the entire global population resides within the jurisdiction of a sovereign state. In some regions nominal state authorities may be very weak and wield little or no actual power. Over the course of history most stateless peoples have been integrated into the state-based societies around them.[4]

Some political philosophies, particularly anarchism, consider the state an unwelcome institution and stateless societies the ideal.