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Dueling for honor and identity economics

  • Hassani Mahmooei, Behrooz
  • Vahabi, Mehrdad

Dueling is one of the best indicators of political transition from anarchy to order. This paper explores the dynamics of dueling for honor as a social institution in England, France, and Germany. It identifies major differences regarding the frequency, duration, and nature of dueling. Although dueling for honor emerged as a self-organizing and self-regulatory collective action of the aristocracy in crisis, it transformed into a middle class institution in France and Germany. However, this institution suddenly ended in England around 1850. In this study, we will follow a cognitive version of identity economics to explain the emergence of this institution, and its divergent trajectories in these countries in terms of identity choice. We will argue that while dueling is an identity investment, it might have different values according to its diverse social meanings. We will show that different social meanings that were attached to dueling in England, France and Germany gave rise to different values in identity investment, and led to different results in enhancing social identities.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/44370/2/MPRA_paper_44370.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44370.

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Date of creation: 30 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44370
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  2. Douglass C. North, 2005. "Introduction to Understanding the Process of Economic Change
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  10. Peter T. Leeson, 2009. "The Laws of Lawlessness," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 471-503, 06.
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  12. Derek L. Braddon & Keith Hartley (ed.), 2011. "Handbook on the Economics of Conflict," Books, Edward Elgar, number 13624, December.
  13. Christopher G. Kingston & Robert E. Wright, 2010. "The Deadliest of Games: The Institution of Dueling," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 1094-1106, April.
  14. Volckart, Oliver, 2004. "The economics of feuding in late medieval Germany," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 282-299, July.
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