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Leadership, Violence, and Warfare in Small Societies

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  • Stephen Younger

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Abstract

Multi-agent simulation was used to study the effect of simple models of leadership on interpersonal violence and warfare in small societies. Agents occupied a two dimensional landscape containing villages and food sources. Sharing and stealing contributed to normative reputation. Violence occurred during theft, in revenge killings, and in leader-directed warfare between groups. The simulations were run over many generations to examine the effect of violence on social development. The results indicate that leadership reduced the survival probability of the population. Interpersonal violence killed more agents than warfare when intra-group violence was permitted. More aggressive leaders did not always prevail over less aggressive leaders due to the inherent risks associated with attacks. The results of the simulation are compared to cross-cultural studies and to observations of indigenous Pacific island societies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Younger, 2011. "Leadership, Violence, and Warfare in Small Societies," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 14(3), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2010-91-2
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    File URL: http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/14/3/8/8.pdf
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