Evolution of Cultural Complexity

September 21, 2017 (8:30-17:00) Cancun, Mexico

CALL FOR PAPERS – Adaptive Behavior

Special issue: “Evolution of Cultural Complexity”

(Download the pdf of this CfP here)

From a global perspective the sociocultural evolution of humans has been a strong driving force throughout our shared history. From the invention of tools as simple as a knapped pebble to the development of complex machines able to land men on the Moon, humans as a species have been developing, advancing and perfecting objects and techniques we use in our daily lives. Equally, we have witnessed a slow but steady shift among human groups towards more complex multilevel social organisations.

Although never a case of continuous progress but rather an ebb and flow peppered with sudden surges in pace and dramatic collapses, the global trend can be characterised as an increase in cultural and social complexity over time. Despite its significance, the mechanisms and the factors driving this process are still poorly understood and subject to debate. What drives society to continuously update and elaborate their products? Why certain forms of social organisation seem to be more stable than others? What factors cause a sudden loss in cultural complexity? Different hypotheses trying to explain the rise of sociocultural complexity across human societies have been proposed, from demographic factor, cognitive component to historical contingency, but we are far from reaching a consensus.

This special issue follows on from the session “Evolution of Cultural Complexity” held at the Conference on Complex System (2017 & 2018), where those questions were discussed. However we also welcome submissions from authors who did not present. The submission can be of any of the types: original research article, review of the literature on the topic of the session, short communication and opinion (cf. the submission guideline of Adaptive Behavior for more information on these formats: https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/journal/adaptive-behavior#submission-guidelines). We invite studies related to the evolution of cultural complexity, including but not limited to the following topics:

The submission will proceed through the SAGE journal submission system:


During the submission process please select the article type: “Special issue on the evolution of cultural complexity”.

Please also note that submissions have to follow SAGE submission guidelines: https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/manuscript-submission-guidelines

A Word template is available here and a Latex template here.


Submission deadline: November 2018

Reviewers’ feedback due: Early 2019

Revised submissions due: Early 2019

Publication date: TBA

Guest Editors of the special issue:

María Coto-Sarmiento (Barcelona Supercomputing Center & Universitat de Barcelona)

Simon Carrignon (Barcelona Supercomputing Center & Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Organizers of the 2017 Satellite Session:

María Coto-Sarmiento (Barcelona Supercomputing Center & Universitat de Barcelona)

Simon Carrignon (Barcelona Supercomputing Center & Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Sergi Valverde (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Iza Romanowska (Barcelona Supercomputing Center)

Xavier Rubio-Campillo (University of Edinburgh)

Contact: ccs17 at bsc dot es

Website: ccs17.bsc.es/proceedings