Multilevel Selection: Theoretical Foundations, Historical Examples, and Empirical Evidence

Steven C. Hertler, Aurelio José Figueredo, Mateo Peñaherrera-Aguirre

Research output: Book/ReportBook

7 Scopus citations


This book embeds a novel evolutionary analysis of human group selection within a comprehensive overview of multilevel selection theory, a theory wherein evolution proceeds at the level of individual organisms and collectives, such as human families, tribes, states, and empires. Where previous works on the topic have variously supported multilevel selection with logic, theory, experimental data, or via review of the zoological literature; in this book the authors uniquely establish the validity of human group selection as a historical evolutionary process within a multilevel selection framework.Select portions of the historical record are examined from a multilevel selectionist perspective, such that clashing civilizations, decline and fall, law, custom, war, genocide, ostracism, banishment, and the like are viewed with the end of understanding their implications for internal cohesion, external defense, and population demography. In doing so, its authors advance the potential for further interdisciplinary study in fostering, for instance, the convergence of history and biology. This work will provide fresh insights not only for evolutionists but also for researchers working across the social sciences and humanities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages359
ISBN (Electronic)9783030495206
ISBN (Print)9783030495190
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Altruism
  • Between-Group Competition
  • Community Ecology
  • Cultural evolution
  • Cultural group selection
  • Ecology
  • Evolutionary Genetics
  • Gene-culture coevolution
  • Group and Individual Selection
  • Historical demography
  • Inclusive Fitness Theory
  • Kin-Selection
  • Multilevel Selection Theory
  • Parochial Altruism
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Biogeography
  • Social Ecology
  • Social Epistatic Amplification
  • Social biogeography
  • Sociobiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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