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The social evolution of genocide across time and geographic space: Perspectives from evolutionary game theory

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  • Charles H. Anderton

    () (College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, USA)

Abstract

A standard evolutionary game theory model is used to reveal the interpersonal and geographic characteristics of a population that make it vulnerable to accepting the genocidal aims of political leaders. Under conditions identified in the space-less version of the model, genocide architects can engineer the social metamorphosis of a peaceful people-group into one that supports, or does not resist, the architects’ atrocity goals. The model reveals policy interventions that prevent the social evolution of genocide among the population. The model is then extended into geographic space by analyzing interactions among peaceful and aggressive phenotypes in a Moore neighborhood. Key concepts of the analyses are applied to the onset and spread of genocide during the Holocaust (1933-1945) and to the prevention of genocide in Cote d'Ivoire (2011).

Suggested Citation

  • Charles H. Anderton, 2015. "The social evolution of genocide across time and geographic space: Perspectives from evolutionary game theory," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, EPS Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 5-20, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:epc:journl:v:10:y:2015:i:2:p:5-20
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    File URL: http://www.epsjournal.org.uk/index.php/EPSJ/article/view/212
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charles H. Anderton & Jurgen Brauer, 2019. "Mass Atrocities and their Prevention," Working Papers 1901, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    2. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "Basins of Attraction, Long-Run Stochastic Stability, and the Speed of Step-by-Step Evolution," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 17-45.
    3. Charles Anderton, 2010. "Choosing Genocide: Economic Perspectives On The Disturbing Rationality Of Race Murder," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(5-6), pages 459-486.
    4. Matthew O. Jackson, 2014. "Networks in the Understanding of Economic Behaviors," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 3-22, Fall.
    5. Kaivan Munshi, 2014. "Community Networks and the Process of Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 49-76, Fall.
    6. Philip Verwimp, 2011. "The 1990-1992 Massacres in Rwanda: A Case of Spatial and Social Engineering?," HiCN Working Papers 94, Households in Conflict Network.
    7. Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010. "Network Games," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
    8. Daniel G. Arce M. & Todd Sandler, 2003. "An Evolutionary Game Approach to Fundamentalism and Conflict," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(1), pages 132-154, March.
    9. Arce, Daniel G. & Sandler, Todd, 2009. "Fitting in: Group effects and the evolution of fundamentalism," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 739-757, September.
    10. repec:wsi:igtrxx:v:16:y:2014:i:03:n:s0219198914500017 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Genocide; social evolution; peacekeeping; aggression; Holocaust;

    JEL classification:

    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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