Emotions and International Conflicts: Sociological, Evolutionary and Rational Views
In March 2005, riots erupted in South Korea against Japan for claiming sovereignty over some rocky uninhabited islets (0.23 km2). Five weeks earlier, riots did not erupt in South Korea when North Korea proved that it has nuclear weapons. How can we explain moral outrage in one case, when the expected net benefit is probably negative, but not in the other, when the expected net benefit is very large? This paper constructs answers using three possible approaches: sociological, evolutionary game, and standard rationality. It shows the limits of each approach and, hence, concludes with a call for a new way to think about emotions and rationality.
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