R. Brian Ferguson

Richard Brian Ferguson (born 1951) is an American anthropologist.


Richard Brian Ferguson was born in New York, New York on July 19, 1951. He spent his childhood in upstate New York.

Ferguson attended Columbia University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in anthropology in 1974. During this time he was involved in activism opposing the Vietnam war. He earned his doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University in 1988, with dissertation field work in Puerto Rico.[1]


Ferguson is now a tenured professor of Anthropology at Rutgers University Newark. His expertise lies in cultural anthropology, the anthropology of war, ethnic conflict, state-tribe interaction, policing, and Puerto Rico. He is part of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology as well as Global Urban Studies/Urban Systems. He has also served on the board of governors of the New York Academy of Sciences.[1] Ferguson has published many papers critical of biological perspectives in anthropology, especially explanations of war.[2]


  • The Anthropology of War (with Leslie Farragher) 1988
  • Explaining War 1990
  • Infrastructural Determinism 1995
  • When Worlds Collide 1992
  • A Paradigm for the Study of War and Society 1999
  • Violent Conflict and Control of the State 2003
  • Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, and the Origins and Intensification of War 2006
  • War Before History,” 2008
  • Ten Points on War 2008


  1. "Profile: R. Brian Ferguson". Rutgers University. Archived from the original on 2016-03-13. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
  2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/war-is-not-part-of-human-nature/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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