The 20th century has seen a proliferation of village settlements in conjunction with high rates of internal migration and population growth. The growth of villages, the formation of village communities and the internal movement of large numbers of people is characteristic of the contemporary Near East, even when considered apart from rural migration to urban centers. Functional specialization extends to the social and political areas as well. Tribal villages, of which there are many in the Middle East, might be thought of as politically less specialized than comparable non-tribal rural communities. Anthropologists have usually examined local level economic and social processes in the course of “case studies” of particular villages or communities in the Near East. Many problems facing the members of village communities originate, however, in the relationship of the local population to other comparable communities, to regional centers or cities, and to national political and economic institutions.