Description of Group “Applying Anthropology to supranational networks and systems.”
Members of this group share ideas about the evolution of cultural systems above the level of states. Upon observing the network of corporations that dominated the mining systems in southern Africa in the 1960s Alvin Wolfe described what he saw as a “supranational system”resulting from the interaction of political states and business corporations.
As this evolution proceeded throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, business firms became wealthier and more powerful while states, themselves corporations that depended more on their populations than on their capital, weakened.
During this same period theories and methods to study complex networks evolved to the point that understanding supranational systems is now possible and anthropology is the discipline that should be doing so. After all, this is culture, and culture is our business.