Dmitri Bondarenko in Tanzania, April 2005
June 9, 1968|
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Alma mater||Moscow State University|
|Known for||contributions to theory of cultural evolution, African Studies|
|Awards||Grant of the Foundation for National Science Support for outstanding young D.Sc. holders (2008, 2009); European Academy prize for young CIS scholars (for the monograph Benin on the Eve of the First Contacts with Europeans: Personality. Society. Authority) (1997)|
|Fields||Theory of cultural evolution, political anthropology, African Studies|
|Institutions||Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences; National Research University Higher School of Economics; Russian State University for the Humanities|
Dmitri Mikhailovich Bondarenko (Russian: Дми́трий Миха́йлович Бондаре́нко, IPA: [ˈdmʲitrʲɪj mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪt͡ɕ bənd̪ɐˈrʲeŋko] ( listen); born 1968), is a Russian anthropologist, historian, and africanist. He has conducted field research in a number of African countries (particularly, Tanzania, Nigeria, Benin, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda) and among Black people in Russia and the United States. He is Principal Research Fellow and Vice-Director for Research with the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the International Center of Anthropology of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, and Full Professor in Ethnology with the Center of Social Anthropology of the Russian State University for the Humanities. He holds the titles of Professor in Ethnology from the Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Global Problems and International Relations, and Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in History.
Bondarenko was a visiting scholar with the Northwestern University (USA), Institut für Geschichte (Germany), and Maison des sciences de l'homme (France). He has delivered guest lectures at universities of the USA, Egypt, Tanzania, Slovenia, and Angola. Bondarenko is a member of the Executive Committee of the Africanist Network of the "European Association of Social Anthropologists", for which he also served as the Committee Chairperson in 2006–2008. Dmitri Bondarenko is a co-founder and co-editor of "Social Evolution & History".
Bondarenko graduated with the M.A. degree in 1990 from the Moscow State University, Department of Ethnography, School of History. He completed his Ph.D. in 1993 at Russian Academy of Sciences. He also holds Doctor of Sciences degree (2000) from the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Research interests and major contributions
Social theory, anthropological and historical theory, political anthropology, pre-industrial societies, cultures and history of Africa, socio-cultural transformations and intercultural interaction in contemporary world (including ethnic, racial, and religious aspects, migration issues) with special focus on Africa and people of African descent worldwide
Bondarenko has introduced (together with Andrey Korotayev) and started elaborating the notion of homoarchy to be coupled with the one of heterarchy, noting that the heterarchy (defined as "the relation of elements to one another when they are unranked or when they possess the potential for being ranked in a number of different ways") is not the opposite of any hierarchy all together, but is rather the opposite of "homoarchy", defined as "the relation of elements to one another when they are rigidly ranked one way only, and thus possess no (or not more than very limited) potential for being unranked or ranked in another or a number of different ways at least without cardinal reshaping of the whole socio-political order".
Basing primarily on the precolonial Benin Kingdom evidence, Bondarenko has elaborated the conception of "megacommunity" as a specific type of the non-state supercomplex society, integration of a supercomplex (exceeding the complex chiefdom level) society on community (and hence non-state) basis being its main distinctive feature. He has contributed to the studies of the state origins and nature by dealing with such aspects of the problematics as the dynamics of kinship and territoriality as principles of socio-political organization, transformations in ideology, and others.
In publications on contemporary issues Bondarenko argues, in particular, that globalization should be viewed as a primarily cultural, not economic and political, phenomenon which is by no means a recently appeared one but which embraces essentially the whole human history, and which can turn out a "successful historical project" in the shape of a "federation of local civilizations" only.
Bondarenko has authored 7 monographs (including 3 in English) and over 400 other publications. Among his major publications in English are:
- . African Migrants in Post-Soviet Moscow: Adaptation and Integration in a Time of Radical Socio-Political Transformations. Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration. 2017. Iss. 9. P. 35-75.
- Pre-slave Trade and Pre-colonial Africa in the Historical Consciousness of African-Americans and African Migrants in the USA. Africa Review. 2017. Vol. 9, № 1. P. 82-97.
- . Toward a Philosophy of African History: Communality as a Foundation of Africa’s Socio-Cultural Tradition. In Adam Bedřich, Tomáš Retka (eds.). Knight from Komárov – To Petr Skalník for His 70th Birthday. Praha: AntropoWeb, 2015. P. 61-80.
- . Has the Past Passed? On the Role of Historic Memory in Shaping the Relations between African Americans and Contemporary African Migrants in the USA. Suomen antropologi. 2015. Vol. 40, № 3. P. 5-30.
- On the Nature and Features of the (Early) State: An Anthropological Reanalysis. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie. 2014. Vol. 139, № 2. P. 215-232.
- . Anthropology, History, and Memory in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Memoriam Michel Izard (Special Issue of Social Evolution and History. 2014. Vol. 13, № 2; co-edited with T. Graetz and P. Skalnik).
- The Axial Ages of World History: Lessons for the 21st Century. Litchfield Park, AZ: Emergent Publications, 2014 (with K. Baskin).
- A View from Campus. The Attitude of University Students to the European and South Asian Minorities in Tanzania and Zambia Compared (Anthropos. 2013. Vol. 108, № 1. P. 77-95 (with K. Krishna and R. Krishna)).
- The Second Axial Age and Metamorphoses of Religious Consciousness in the ‘Christian World’ (Journal of Globalization Studies. 2011. Vol. 2, № 1. P. 113-136)
- The Social World’s Parts and Whole: Globalization and the Future of Some Non-Western Cultures in the Civilization and World-System Theories Perspectives In J. Sheffield (ed.). Systemic Development: Local Solutions in a Global Environment. Litchfield Park, AZ: ISCE Publishing, 2009. P. 17–24.
- Kinship, Territoriality and the Early State Lower Limit (Social Evolution & History. 2008. Vol. 7, No 1. P. 19-53)
- Approaching "Complexity" in Anthropology and Complexity Studies: The Principles of Socio-political Organization and Prospects for Bridging the Interdisciplinary Gap (Emergence: Complexity and Emergence. 2007. Vol. 9, No 3. P. 55-67)
- Homoarchy as a Principle of Sociopolitical Organization: An Introduction (Anthropos. 2007. Vol. 102, № 1. P. 187–199)
- What Is There in a Word? Heterarchy, Homoarchy and the Difference in Understanding Complexity in the Social Sciences and Complexity Studies (K.A. Richardson and P. Cilliers, eds. Explorations in Complexity Thinking: Pre-Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Complexity and Philosophy. Mansfield, MA: ISCE Publishing, 2007. P. 35–48)
- Homoarchy as a Principle of Culture's Organization. The 13th-19th Centuries Benin Kingdom as a Non-State Supercomplex Society. Moscow: URSS, 2006.
- Ethnographic Atlas XXXI: Peoples of Easternmost Eurasia (Ethnology. 2005. Vol. 44, No 3. P. 261–289 (with A. Kazankov, D. Khaltourina, and A. Korotayev)
- A Homoarchic Alternative to the Homoarchic State: Benin Kingdom of the 13th - 19th Centuries. Social Evolution & History. 2005. Vol. 4, No 2. P. 18-88.
- The "Fruit of Enlightenment": Education, Politics, and Muslim-Christian Relations in Contemporary Tanzania (Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations. 2004. Vol. 15, No 4. P. 443-468)
- A Historical-anthropological Look at Some Sociopolitical Problems of Second and Third World Countries (M. Gammer, ed., Community, Identity and the State. Comparing Africa, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. London – New York: Routledge, 2004. P. 14-41, with A. Korotayev)
- A Popular History of Benin. The Rise and Fall of a Mighty Forest Kingdom. Frankfurt am Main etc.: Peter Lang, 2003 (with P.M. Roese).
- Advent of the Second (Oba) Dynasty: Another Assessment of a Benin History Key-Point (History in Africa. 2003. Vol. 30. P. 63-85)
- Early State in Cross-Cultural Perspective: A Statistical Re-Analysis of Henri J. M. Claessen's Database // Cross-Cultural Research. The Journal of Comparative Social Science. 37/1 (2003). P. 104–131[permanent dead link] (with A.V. Korotayev)
- In Search of a New Academic Profile: Teaching Anthropology in Contemporary Russia (D. Drackle, I.R. Edgar, T.K. Schippers, eds., Learning Fields. Vol. 1. Educational Histories of European Social Anthropology. New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2003. P. 230-246, with A.V. Korotayev)
- Alternative Pathways of Social Evolution // Social Evolution and History. Studies in the Evolution of Human Societies. 2002. Vol. 1. # 1. P. 54–80.
- Family size and community organization: a cross-cultural comparison // Cross-Cultural Research. The Journal of Comparative Social Science 34/2 (May, 2000). P. 152–189 (with A.V. Korotayev).
- Polygyny and Democracy: a Cross-Cultural Comparison // Cross-Cultural Research. The Journal of Comparative Social Science. 34/2 (May2000). P. 190–208 (with A.V. Korotayev) (Paper reports negative correlation between polygyny and democracy.)