Hierarchy and Conflict in Human (and…?) Society
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Abstract: Social hierarchies typically serve to reduce conflict, but the mechanisms by which they do so are underexplored. In this talk, I will discuss a general, agent-based model of hierarchy and conflict that was developed in the context of interstate relations. The model exhibits a variety of surprising emergent properties, such as homeostasis, contagion (“balancing” and “bandwagoning” effects), and institutional persistence. My goal in presenting the model at SFI is to get a sense of the value of exploring additional interdisciplinary applications of a more general version of the model, in e.g. nonstate societies, nonhuman societies, and organized crime families.