BOEHM, CHRISTOPHER H. / Anthropology / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research


Anthropology / BOEHM, CHRISTOPHER H.


Professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California,
Director of the Jane Goodall Research Center

Research interests

Evolutionary studies: altruism and group selection, moral evolution, evolution of political behavior in apes and humans, language evolution, rational decisions in evolutionary process.

Primates: conflict resolution, anti-hierarchical behavior, vocal communication.

Political anthropology: egalitarianism, decision behavior, feuding, tribal warfare.

Legal anthropology: conflict management, social control.

Major Research Projects :

"The Evolution of Moral Communities".

Laboratory analysis of wild chimpanzee vocal communication, at Jane Goodall Research Center, USC, 1994-1997.
Direction of field investigation of free-ranging chimpanzee social behavior at Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, using Hi-8 videotape research technology, 1992-1994.

Data analysis: videotaped materials on conflict-resolution behavior of free-ranging chimpanzees, 1989-1990.

Summer field research developing recording techniques for study of long-distance vocal communication of free-ranging chimpanzees, Gombe Stream Research Centre, Tanzania, 6 weeks, 1989.

Field study of developmental aspects of conflict-resolution behavior among free-ranging chimpanzees. Data collection at Gombe Stream Research Centre, Tanzania. Data analysis spring semester 1988 and spring semester 1989. Two years, 1987-1989.

Summer field research on long-distance vocal communication behavior of free-ranging chimpanzees, Gombe Stream Research Centre, Tanzania, 2 months 1987.

Data analysis: long-distance vocal communication behavior of free-ranging chimpanzees, spring semester 1987.

Summer field research on long-distance vocal communication behavior of free-ranging chimpanzees, Gombe Stream Research Centre, Tanzania, 2 months 1986.

Field research on chimpanzee conflict resolution behavior, Gombe Stream Research Centre, Tanzania, fall semester 1985.

Library research and writing on natural history of morality, academic year 1984- 1985.

Summer field work and documentary research on triadic interactions among free-ranging chimpanzees at Gombe Stream Research Centre, Tanzania, 3 months 1984.

Sociolinguistic field research on negotiation behavior, urban USA, 1 month 1983.

Research on egalitarianism in its social, political and biological aspects, at Harvard University, 7 months 1981-1982.

Research on conflict resolution among nonhuman primates, Tozzer Library, 2 months 1982.

Research on the early evolution of morality, Tozzer Library, 2 months 1981.: Conflict resolution in humans and in nonhuman primates; hunter-gatherers and egalitarian societies, chimpanzee social behavior. Fieldwork in Yugoslavia and Tanzania.


in press Boehm, C. Hierarchy in the Forest: Egalitarian Society and the Evolution of Democratic Politics. Harvard University Press.
1986 Blood Revenge: The Enactment and Management of Conflict in Montenegro and Other Tribal Societies. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
1997 Impact of the Human Egalitarian Syndrome on Darwinian Selection Mechanics. American Naturalist 150: 100-121.
1997 Egalitarian Behavior and The Evolution of Political Intelligence. In, Machiavellian Intelligence II, edited by D. Byrne and A. Whiten. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
1997 Hierarchy, Exchange, and the Levels of Natural Selection. Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 8:131-166.
1996 Emergency Decisions, Cultural Selection Mechanics, and Group Selection. Current Anthropology 37:763-793.
1995 A Note on Scavenging by Wild Chimpanzees. Folia Primatologica 65:43-47. (Co-Authored with M. N. Muller, E. Mpongo, and C. B. Stanford)
1994 Pacifying Interventions at Arnhem Zoo and Gombe. In, Chimpanzee Cultures, edited by Richard W. Wrangham, W. C. McGrew, Frans B. M. de Waal, and Paul G. Heltne. Pp. 211-226. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
1993 Egalitarian Behavior and Reverse Dominance Hierarchy. Current Anthropology 34:227-254. [This paper won the Stirling Prize in Psychologica Anthropology]
1992 Segmentary "Warfare" and the Management of Conflict: Comparison of East African Chimpanzees and Patrilineal-Patrilocal Humans. In, Us Against Them: Coalitions and Alliances in Humans and Other Animals. A. Harcourt and F. de Waal (eds). Pp. 137-173. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
1992 Vocal Communication of Pan Troglodytes: Possibilities for Explaining Human Language Origins. In, The Origins of Human Language. B. Chiarelli and A. C. Ciani, eds. Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag.
1991 Lower-Level Teleology in Biological Evolution: Decision Behavior and Reproductive Success in Two Species. Cultural Dynamics 4:115-134.
1989 Ambivalence and Compromise in Human Nature. American Anthropologist 91:921-39.

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