Fall 2019 HC 441H: The Biological Basis of Coalitions, Alliances, and Political Systems

Fall 2019-2020

Professor: Klaree Boose

4.00 credits

  • CRN 12786: Tuesday & Thursday, 08:30 - 09:50 @ CHA 301

Human sociality is complex and our proclivity to form coalitions and alliances has a long evolutionary history. Understanding the biological basis of human political behavior is relevant to a wide range of disciplines including business, marketing, economics, and political science. This course will provide students with an understanding of the biological and evolutionary processes that underlie coalitions, alliances, and political systems in humans and non-human primates. Using a scientific approach and drawing from primary literature, this course will examine the basics of biological social theory, the Socioecological synthesis, the adaptive value of sociality and competition, the emergent properties of dominance and social power, the evolution of cooperation, the role of coalitions and alliances in the formation of social structure, and the nature of cooperation within the political arena.