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Converting social conflict: Focal points and the evolution of cooperation

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  • Peter Leeson

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  • Christopher Coyne

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  • Peter Boettke

    ()

Abstract

We examine the ability of focal points to transform situations of potential conflict into situations of cooperation. In performing this function, focal points convert “worst-case scenarios” into “better-case scenarios,” which are easier for political economic systems to handle. Focal points thus contribute to the ability of political economies to perform well in the face of less than ideal conditions, enhancing systemic robustness. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Leeson & Christopher Coyne & Peter Boettke, 2006. "Converting social conflict: Focal points and the evolution of cooperation," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 137-147, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:19:y:2006:i:2:p:137-147
    DOI: 10.1007/s11138-006-7345-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter T. Leeson, 2007. "Trading with Bandits," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 303-321.
    2. Greif, Avner, 1989. "Reputation and Coalitions in Medieval Trade: Evidence on the Maghribi Traders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 857-882, December.
    3. Peter Leeson & J. Subrick, 2006. "Robust political economy," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 107-111, June.
    4. Peter T. Leeson, 2003. "Contracts Without Government," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 18(Spring 20), pages 35-54.
    5. Avner Greif, 2002. "Institutions and Impersonal Exchange: From Communal to Individual Responsibility," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 158(1), pages 168-168, March.
    6. Clay, Karen, 1997. "Trade without Law: Private-Order Institutions in Mexican California," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 202-231, April.
    7. Peter T. Leeson, 2006. "Self-Enforcing Arrangements and Heterogeneous Groups," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 891-907, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marta Podemska-Mikluch & Richard Wagner, 2013. "Dyads, triads, and the theory of exchange: Between liberty and coercion," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 171-182, June.
    2. Ambrosino, Angela, 2009. "Institutions as game theory outcomes: toward a cognitive-experimental inquiry," MPRA Paper 42752, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.
    3. Constantine Bourlakis, 2015. "Rituals and Focal Points in Byzantium under the Emperor Justinian I," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 3105279, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    4. Shinji Teraji, 2014. "On cognition and cultural evolution," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 13(2), pages 167-182, November.
    5. Peter Leeson, 2008. "Coordination without command: Stretching the scope of spontaneous order," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 67-78, April.
    6. Constantine Bourlakis, 2016. "The Emperor?s New Mind: On Constantine?s I Decision to Legalize Christianity," International Journal of Social Sciences, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences, vol. 5(1), pages 47-59, February.
    7. Shaun Hargreaves Heap, 2008. "Social capital and snake oil," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 199-207, September.

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    Keywords

    Focal points; Robustness; Cooperation; Conflict;

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