Spring 2019 HC 431H: The Biological Basis of Coalitions, Alliances, and Political Systems

Spring Term, 2018-2019

Professor: Klaree Boose

4.00 credits

  • CRN 32538: Monday & Wednesday, 14:00 - 15:20 @ CHA 202

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. The primary objective of this course is to provide undergraduates with an understanding of the biological and evolutionary processes that underlie coalitions, alliances, and political systems in humans and non-human primates. Using a multidisciplinary 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.