Recent research in Africa has shown a wide range of political systems, from small societies of wandering hunters to large states of several million people comparable with mediaeval European feudal kingdoms. In between are many societies in which a central government is lacking; the political system is based upon a balance of power between many small groups, which with their lack of classes or specialized political offices, have been called 'ordered anarchies'.
First published in 1958.
'The book is a significant addition to the growing body of field research on non-western political institutions.' - M. Fortes, Nature
'Contains excellent short essays on six African societies in which lineages determine the major political groups.' - Africa