Modelling transitions between egalitarian, dynamic leader and absolutist power structures

Bryden, J., Silverman, E. and Powers, S. T. (2022) Modelling transitions between egalitarian, dynamic leader and absolutist power structures. PLoS ONE, 17(2), e0263665. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0263665) (PMID:35157720) (PMCID:PMC8843174)

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Abstract

Human groups show a variety of leadership dynamics ranging from egalitarian groups with no leader, to groups with changing leaders, to absolutist groups with a single long-term leader. Here, we model transitions between these different phases of leadership dynamics, investigating the role of inequalities in relationships between individuals. Our results demonstrate a novel riches-to-rags class of leadership dynamics where a leader can be replaced by a new individual. We note that the transition between the three different phases of leadership dynamics resembles transitions in leadership dynamics during the Neolithic period of human history. We argue how technological developments, such as food storage and/or weapons which allow one individual to control large quantities of resources, would mean that relationships became more unequal. In general terms, we provide a model of how individual relationships can affect leadership dynamics and structures.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Silverman, Dr Eric
Creator Roles:
Silverman, E.Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Bryden, J., Silverman, E., and Powers, S. T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 Bryden et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 17(2):e0263665
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3048231Complexity in healthSharon SimpsonMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/1HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
3048231Complexity in healthSharon SimpsonChief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU16HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
303087PHASE: The Population HeAlth Simulation nEtworkLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/S037594/1HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit