Evolutionary paradigms in the

Social Sciences II

 

 

 

 

Workshop Report

May 26-27, 1995, Seattle Battelle Research Center

Co-organized by George Modelski and Kazimierz Poznanski

Sponsored by the Jackson School of International Studies

and the Department of Political Science

 

 

 

Seattle: University of Washington

 

 

1995

Contents

 

Edited by George Modelski

 

 

 

I. Introduction 2

 

II. Workshop Program 4

 

III. Workshop Participants 6

 

IV. Session Reports:

One: Evolutionary Social Science and Japan, 9

by David Wallerstein

Two: Evolutionary Methodologies and Policy-Making, 14

by Mikhail Alexeev

Three: Diversity and Competition in Contemporary Capitalism 23

by Bill Kottmeyer

Four: The Evolution of World Institutions, 28

by Daniel Whiteneck

Five: Essentials of an Evolutionary Paradigm in the Social 34

Sciences

by Stephen Drago

 

I. Introduction

 

This report brings together the basic materials of the workshop Evolutionary Paradigms in the Social Sciences II, held at the Battelle Research Center in Seattle May 26-27, 1995.

This was the second such workshop, the first having met one year earlier, in May 1994, and for which a similar report was also issued (Evolutionary Paradigms in the Social Sciences, University of Washington 1994). The purpo se of this second meeting was to continue the inventory of contemporary evolutionary thought in the social sciences begun earlier, and to promote interdisciplinary contact, from two perspectives: (1) with emphasis on political and economic processes, and their interrelationships, and (2) with particular attention to international aspects, in two senses, both by asking questions about the evolution of international institutions, and by reaching out, if possible, for world coverage, as e.g. in our session on Japanese evolutionary thought.

Almost one-half of workshop participants were drawn from the Pacific Northwest, and the West, such that they could potentially represent a nucleus of scholarly activity with possibilities of exchanging experience in respect of social science evolutionary analysis; there might be value in continuing such contacts, and pursuing common interests through meetings focused on one particular evolutionary theme, but with opportunity also provided for mutual exchange of experience with others pursuing similar methodologies in different fields.

The session reports are intended as synopses of papers as they were presented, and as summaries of the commentaries, and of the question-and-answer periods; they are based on tapes of meetings but are not intended to be read as verbatim reports. The revised bibliography presents in a new format the key readings in this rapidly changing field.

This second workshop, as the first one, was funded principally by the International Studies Center of the Jackson School of International Studies, with assistance fro the Graduate School Fund, the Jackson School, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Political Science, all of the University of Washington. We wish to express our especial thanks for their support of this project to Joel Migdal, Director of the Center, as well as to Nicholas Lardy, Director of the Jackson School, Dean Morgan Thomas of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Lance Bennett, Chair of the Department of Political Science.

We also wish to record our thanks David Wallerstein, the workshop assistant, for helping to organize this second workshop; to Mikhail Alexeev, Bill Kottmeyer, Stephen Drago, and Daniel Whiteneck for acting as session rapporteurs, and to Corina Herron Linden, who saw this report through publication.

 

July 1995 George Modelski

Kaz Poznanski

 

 

 

 

II. Workshop Program

 

Co-Organized by George Modelski and Kazimierz Poznanski

 

May 26-27, 1995

Battelle Seattle Conference Center

 

 

 

 

Friday, May 26, 1995

 

Session One: Evolutionary Social Science in Japan

Chair: George Modelski (UW)

 

Keníichi Nishiyama (Saitama University), "Evolutionary Social Science in Japan"

Tatsuo Tanaka (International University of Japan), "Murakamiís Evolutionary Economics"

Commentary: Kozo Yamaura (UW)

 

Session Two: Evolutionary Methodologies and Policy-making

Chair: Peter Corning (ISCS Palo Alto)

 

Andrew Farkas (Rutgers), "Evolutionary Models in Foreign Policy Analysis"

Ken M. Osterkamp (Claremont), "Evolutionary Game Theory and Genetic Algorithms: An Introduction"

Commentary: Stephen Majeski (UW)

Peter Corning (ISCS Palo Alto), "The Reemergence of Group Selection in Social Evolutionary Theory"

 

Session Three: Diversity and Competition in Contemporary Capitalism

Chair: Joel Migdal (UW)

 

Gerhard Mensch (Munich), "Industrial Evolution: The Metamorphosis Model and Applications in Eastern Europe"

Kazimierz Poznanski (UW), "Divergent Patterns of Transition to Capitalism"

William R. Thompson (Indiana), "The Evolution of Politico-Economic Challenges in the Active Zone"

Commentary: Joel Migdal (UW)

 

 

Saturday, May 27, 1995

 

Session Four: The Evolution of World Institutions

Chair: Mark Zacher (British Columbia)

 

Ann M. Florini (Brookings), "The Evolution of International Norms"

Commentary: Karen Litfin (UW)

Jacek Kugler (Claremont), "The Evolution of the International System and Conflict"

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla (U Colorado-Boulder), "Evolutionary Analysis and the Long-Range Analysis of War"

Commentary: William R. Thompson

Andrew Bosworth (UW), "Evolution of the World-City System"

 

Session Five: Roundtable: Essentials of an evolutionary paradigm for the social sciences?

 

George Modelski, Eric A. Smith, Tatsuo Tanaka, Mikhail Alexeev, Kazimierz Poznanski

 

 

III. Workshop Participants

 

 

Andrew Bosworth 2535 Los Altos N #432

Tucson, AZ 85705

 

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla Dept. of Political Science Campus Box 333

University of Colorado at Boulder

Boulder, CO 80309

email: cioffi_c@cubldr.colorado.edu

 

Peter Corning Institute for the Study of Complex Systems

119 Bryant St., Suite 212

Palo Alto, CA 94301-1103

email: ISCS@aol.com

 

Andrew Farkas Rutgers University

P. O. Box 270

New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0270

email: Farkas@gandolf.Rutgers.edu

 

Ann M. Florini Foreign Policy Program

Brookings Institution

1775 Mass. Av. NW

Washington DC 20036

 

Jacek Kugler Center for Politics and Economics

Claremont Graduate School

Claremont CA

email: kuglerj@cgs.edu

 

Karen Litfin Department of Political Science

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195

email: lifin@u.washington.edu

 

Stephen Majeski Department of Political Science

University of Washington

Seattle WA 98195

email: majeski@u.washington.edu

 

Gerhard Mensch Regerstr. 17

D-8032 Muenschen Graefeling, Germany

fax: 011-49-89-878591

 

Joel Migdal Jackson School of International Studies

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195

email: migdal@u.washington.edu

 

George Modelski Department of Political Science

University of Washington

Seattle WA 98195

email: modelski@u.washington.edu

 

Keníichi Nishiyama Saitama University, Japan

email: niche@sacs.sv.saitama-u.ac.jp

 

Ken M. Osterkamp Center for Politics and Economics

Clarement Graduate School

11506 Echo #B

Eagle River, AK 99577

email: askmol@acad2.alaska.edu

 

Kazimierz Poznanski Jackson School of International Studies

University of Washington

Seattle WA 98195

 

Eric A. Smith Department of Anthropology

University of Washington

Seattle, WA 98195

 

William R. Thompson Department of Political Science

Indiana University

Bloomington, IN 47405

email: wthompson@u.indiana.edu

 

Tatsuo Tanaka Center for Global Communications

International University of Japan

6-15-24 Roppongi, Minato-ku,

Tokyo, Japan 106

email: tatsuo@glocom.ac.jp

 

Kozo Yamamura Jackson School of International Studies

University of Washington

Seattle WA 98195

 

Mark Zacher Institute of International Relations

University of British Columbia

Vancouver BC, V6T IW5

email: mzacher@unixg.ubc.edu

 

 

David Wallerstein, Jackson School of International Studies

workshop assistant University of Washington

Seattle WA 98195

email: adavid@u.washington.edu

 

Mikhail Alexeev Department of Political Science

rapporteur University of Washington

Seattle WA 98195

email: Misha@u.washington.edu

 

Stephen Grado Jackson School of International Studies

rapporteur University of Washington

Seattle WA 98195

 

Bill Kottmeyer Department of Political Science

rapporteur University of Washington

Seattle WA 98195

 

Daniel Whiteneck Department of Political Science

rapporteur University of Washington

Seattle WA 98195

 

 

Guests:

M. A. Baicar University of Washington

Paul Chwelos Faculty of Commerce, University of British Columbia

Ray Dacey School of Business and Economics, University of Idaho

Lisa Carlson Department of Political Science, University of Idaho

Christopher Jones Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington

Patricia Smith Department of Political Science, University of

Washington

Joachim Starbatty Department of Economics, University of Tuebingen

 

Session One

Evolutionary Social Science and Japan

 

According to Keníichi Nishiyama, the modern paradigms of biological theory are the basis of Japanese evolutionary social science. Evolutionary theory tends to be another name for Neo-Darwinian theory, but there are also two prominent non-Darwinian evolutionary paradigms that have attracted the attention of Japanese social scientists. These three theories may be classified as follows:

(1) Neo-Darwinian theory, known as "survival of the fittest".

(2) Imanishiís niche theory, which is characterized as "niche collective

"theory".

(3) Kimuraís neutral theory, dubbed "survival of the luckiest".

Kimuraís theory was developed to explain the process of molecular evolution, in which almost all mutations are neutral. Kimuraís neutral theory has yet to be developed into a model applicable to social science phenomena; however, m any Japanese social scientists understand this theory.

The important component of the Neo-Darwinian approach is evolutionary game theory, which has gained popularity in Japan and worldwide. In the 1980ís the non-cooperative game approach with a Nash equilibrium became a universal paradigm for understanding economic systems. This paradigm is now actively used in Japan, especially by the younger generation of social scientists. However, this approach is problematic because it assumes an overly advanced information-processing capability for the players. Nishiyamaís own contribution has been to introduce into the equation a universal model of reproductive systems, which was then applied to the analysis of innovation and imitation processes in technological change.

Social scientists in Japan are becoming more familiar with using computers and computer communication. In contrast to the top-down approach of traditional social science, the bottom-up approach has been advanced by socio-biologists, and by the path-breaking work of Axelrod in particular. There have been several recent works in Japan that employ gaming simulation methods.

Another field of the Neo-Darwinian evolutionary approach is the study of social institutions. We need to study social institutions from an evolutionary viewpoint, not view them as static entities. Every economy has its own institutions that are spawned by the self-organization of spontaneous fluctuations. Spontaneous fluctuations appear and disappear randomly and some fluctuations self organize into patterned practices because of their high fitness (economic or cultural fitness). This patterned practice becomes an institution. Hirobumi Uzawa has proposed the study of "Institutionalism". It focuses on the notion of "social collective capital", and it consists of natural capital, social infrastructures and social institutions. This social collective capital should not be owned privately. Indeed, in Japan, social collective capital, such as mountains or rivers, have been managed by village communities. The birth of these institutions was often spontaneous.

In contrast to Neo-Darwinism, Imanishiís niche theory of evolution insists that differences among individuals are not essential for evolutionary processes. Evolution occurs at the species level rather than the individual level. Imanishiís reasoning behind the notion that differences are not the motive force behind evolutionary processes is that every individual has a common way of living in its environment; therefore, all individuals in a species change simultaneously in the evolutionary process. However, his theory does not specify a detailed mechanism by which these changes occur. Although Imanishiís theory is not taken seriously by many Japanese biologists, his theory has been popular among social scientists. Perhaps this is due to the theoryís collective nature and its congruency with notions of Eastern philosophy.

A group of scholars led by the leading Japanese evolutionary economist, the late Yasusuke Murakami, have constructed a theory of multilinear evolution of human societies based on what they call the "Ie" system. "Ie" in Japanese means "house" or "family". A social system is not closed, as is assumed in physics models, but instead it is open in the sense that a society is subject to changes in the environment. Environments themselves are composed of nature and other societies. Social systems, according to Murakamiís theory, are self organizing systems. This theory has influenced many Japanese social scientists.

In the discussion, the questions was asked if these evolutionary approaches to the social sciences were coterminous to Japan, or if they were more universal. The speaker responded that while most aspects of Japanese evolutionary theory are universally recognized, the collective approach was more positively evaluated in Japan. Kozo Yamamura added that he has found that the analyses being done by Japanese scholars do not necessarily apply to Western societies, since the Japanese have been trying to add an Eastern flavor to evolutionary approaches. Murakamiís work can be seen as a defense of Japanese institutions, implying that East is now equal to West. Murakami starts out his new book by saying that the progressivist, liberal and individualist tradition of the West is no longer tenable.

Tatsuo Tanaka divided his presentation into two parts. First he introduced Murakamiís idea of evolutionary economics and then he presented his own recent work which makes use of a model constructed under Murakamiís direction.

Murakamiís evolutionary economics tends to be relatively Neo-Darwinian. An important distinction is made in Murakamiís theory between industrialization and capitalism. A key condition for capitalism is the establishment of property rights. Labor, land and other important resources are owned by individuals and exchanged in markets, and market exchange becomes common. Accordingly, the profit motive is pursued. Industrialization, on the other hand, goes beyond capitalism. There are two important patterns in industrialization: a) technological change, and b) change in consumption patterns. Capitalism was born in England, at the earliest, in the 16th century; however, industrialization was born with a lag of two hundred years in the 18th century. This long lag shows that capitalism and industrialization are two separate phenomena. This is an undergirding notion of Murakamiís evolutionary theory. Murakamiís idea differs from Schumpeterís notion of capitalism because Schumpeter did not distinguish between capitalism and industrialization. Moreover, Schumpeter applied his analysis of innovative dynamics to developed countries, but Murakami argued that Schumpeterian dynamics may have an even more significant effect in developing countries because there, technological process tends to be more rapid.

After World War II, United Statesí consumption norms spread throughout the world, but there were other consumption patterns that preceded the U.S. pattern before it proliferated. Murakami thought that change in consumption patterns could also be analyzed as an evolutionary process. There is a significant lag between the change in technology and the comparatively lethargic change in consumption patterns. A consumption explosion often results after consumption change catches up to technological change.

Before attempting to apply evolutionary analogies, we should ask ourselves "What is evolution?" Evolution is not equal to progress. Evolution is summarized as the change of something that is reproduced from generation to generation, or the change of something that is supposed to be unchanged. Now, what is the "something" in this model? In biology the "something" is genes; in social science, the "something" is called "memes". Memes are maintained from generation to generation and determine the behavior of individuals in society. In economics we are concerned with the memes of technology, so we should focus on memes to analyze industrialization. Murakami proposed that human organizations behave as if they maintained and spread their memes as much as possible. To narrow down this hypothesis, memes can be classified into two categories: a) easy to imitate or b) difficult to imitate. Some examples of memes that are easy to imitate are those related to manufacturing technology, capital embodied technology or motorization, and consumer durable goods. Examples of memes that are difficult to imitate include design or R&D technology, human embodied technology or the way of elite life in Europe.

Using this classification, Murakami developed four hypotheses:

1. The consumption for industrialization was created by the consumption meme which was imitated easily to push industrialization.

2. Industry was also established by the technology meme which was easy to imitate.

3. Industrial organization changed dynamically according to the character of these other memes.

4. Industrialization itself is described by the matching and mismatching of the memes of technology and consumption. These two types of memes often do not evolve simultaneously.

Tanakaís own work focuses on one aspect of Murakamiís evolutionary paradigm - the diffusion of technological memes, and seeks to explain the different rates of technology diffusion between Latin America and East Asia. The World Bank explanation attributes the success of East Asia to superior capital accumulation, human capital formation, and macro-stability. However, this explanation is not sufficient, because, for example, both capital accumulation and education had been at the same levels as Latin America until the 1980ís. The alternative explanation centers on the diffusion of human embodied technology, which can also be called "know-how" technology, such as management, marketing, etc.

The speed of technology diffusion depends on the number of firms in the market. Also, international diffusion is slower than domestic diffusion due to the existence of various barriers including language, customs, culture, etc. The rate of firm entry is determined by expected profit. If expected profit is positive, then the firm will enter the market; if expected profit is negative, the firm will not enter. The technology level is measured by the cost level. Every firm tries to expand economies of scale to enjoy lower costs.

A simulation model shows that there are two possible solutions for firms entering the market: a monopolistic solution and a dead heat solution. How do we explain this consistent bifurcation? In the monopolistic solution, firms are driven out by another firm lowering output price. In the dead heat solution, some firms succeed at technology diffusion, so they are not driven out of business and the probability that firms will succeed at technology diffusion is very high, so one firm will not be able to continue to expand its output and drive out other firms. Technological diffusion is much more rapid in the dead heat solution case.

To prove the hypothesis that East Asian countries took the dead heat solution and Latin America took the monopolistic solution, it became necessary to show that the firm concentration ratio is higher in Latin America, and that the entry frequency is higher in East Asia. Looking at Japan, Korea, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil, the average firm size in terms of number of employees per establishment was calculated. The average size of Japanese and Korean firms was then found to be smaller than the average size of Mexican and Brazilian firms; however, firms in Thailand were the largest. The empirical evidence for this hypothesis is weak, but the average firm size in East Asia was shown to be generally smaller in terms of numbers of employees and real assets, and entry frequency was higher in East Asia, too.

In this model, evolutionary processes did not occur more quickly due to the greater number of firms in the market and their smaller size. This is because technology diffusion was assumed to occur at a fixed probability rate.

According to Kozo Yamamura, care should be exercised while using average size. In the case of Japan, there may be a few very large firms and then a high number of small firms, and with this deviation average size does not tell anything. Also, by using evolutionary economics we want to do something that neo-classical economists, using standard economic tools, cannot do. In the real world we see oligopolistic competition as the main driving force for technological change, but you assume away the possibility of an oligopolistic solution.

(David Wallerstein)

 

 

SESSION TWO

EVOLUTIONARY METHODOLOGIES AND POLICY-MAKING

 

Andrew Farkas: It is time to resolve the tension in political science in general and in the field of international relations in particular between the success and increasing popularity of rational-choice models on the one hand, and also the increasing amount of empirical data from cognitive psychology attacking the fundamental assumptions of rational choice models. Rational choice models are very powerful, tractable, formal models that produce generalizable results over a broad range of situations. They prove to be a useful heuristic device identifying situations in international relations that might lead to conflict or cooperation. In addition, we have a small, but growing amount of empirical data supporting the predictions of these models. There are more examples of that in economics: insurance companies have been around for 200-300 years now and they have managed to stay profitable, so they don't seem to be influenced by occurrence of rare events.

On the other hand, human decision-making often tends to be non-rational, i.e. it does not comply with the formal criteria for rationality. What the psychologists tell us is that prospect theory (Kahneman and Tversky, 1979) may be a better predictor of human behavior than the expected utility theory that underlies rational choice models. These findings suggest that human beings are biased, they rely on heuristics, and they often -- as prospect theory tells us -- frame decisions with regard to a reference point (often a status quo). Specifically, people tend to be risk-acceptant with respect to losses and risk-averse with respect to gains, i.e. they are not rational decision-makers. In extensive experiments, Kreps (1990) demonstrated that solutions based on Nash equilibria do not give much insight into the way real people are likely to play the game and act as if they were rational, expected-utility maximizers.

What we really need is a model that can show us how non-rational human beings can somehow behave as a group as if they were a unitary rational actor. This is where I see a role for evolutionary models in social sciences. The assumptions behind the evolutionary model are

(1) individuals are goal seeking;

(2) individuals can tell the difference between good and bad outcomes;

(3) individuals who have recommended successful policies in the past gain influence over future decisions and individuals who had failed to recommend successful policies in the past loose influence over future decisions.

For example, there have been articles suggesting that there is no domestic capability in the United States for manufacturing flat screen displays. To resolve this problem you could array various policy solutions from, say, command economy to a completely free market approach. The group knows where they want to go and their problem is that they don't know which of the many policies here would produce the most desired outcome. My argument is that we need to aggregate the recommendations of individual policy makers by using a weighted average of individual recommendations. This weight would comprise such factors as their political influence, their interest in the initial question, etc. We give high weights to the people with the best information and low weights to people with the worst information. I start by assigning to everybody the same weight and the policy they are going to have will be the mean of recommendations.

Over time some people get to have more influence over subsequent policy decisions due to higher 'fitness' of their recommendations. 'Fitness' depends on how far your policy is from the successful policy that has just been implemented. Thus, people would have more influence if their recommendations are close to good policies, and vice versa.

Two questions to ask about the behavior of this model are: (1) How long does it take one to find a policy one wants to settle on? and (2) How accurately can this be done? I have two measures of accuracy: (1) the absolute number of units from the optimum, which is meaningful only in terms of comparing one situation to another; and (2) 'policy rank,' i.e. if you pick the best of the initial recommendations, you get the rank of "1" and so forth. Policies evolving from a "good start" (initial positions ranked at 0.0) produced a modal response of 0.5, i.e. the policy selected was better than initial suggestions. When the optimal policy was set to be far from the initial beliefs of the decision makers ("bad start") the model tends to select worse policies in terms of both ranks and number of units, although it can still optimize.

This shows that you can take a simple method for aggregating the beliefs of many individuals and the only calculations that the humans need to make is to say if this is a good outcome or a bad outcome. People recommending good outcomes would win greater influence and we will get something that looks like rational behavior. To conclude, we have a way to reconcile rational-choice and cognitive models. The model here assumes that human beings are non-rational. Nevertheless, states as units of analysis in international relations may behave as if they were unitary and rational because of the selection mechanism.

Ken Osterkamp: Genetic algorithms (GAs) are computational techniques for optimization of behavior. Axelrod (1984) applied them to studying cooperation of self-interested rational actors. When using GAs, one can take the assumption of game theory that states are unitary rational actors, they are optimizing some parameter in the international system, and they are updating their behavior. GAs are set firmly in the context of complex adaptive systems.

Complex adaptive systems are where evolutionary game theory is naturally set. Evolutionary game theory takes a population of self-interested rational actors, iterates some game over time updating their behavior in line with past experience. Evolutionary game theory was used in biology by John Maynard Smith and was later introduced to the social sciences.

The assumption is that a system is composed of a certain number of interactive components, or actors in this case, and you ascribe some type of behavior to them. This information is then fed into a computer and a researcher observes their behavior. This enables one to examine optimization (the system immediately and very efficiently optimizes results) and the stability of the equilibrium that emerges. These are open systems and their components will organize themselves to a point where they are most efficient at processing information. This will be on a continuum of behavior ranging from extremely ordered to chaotic. According to the hypothesis, there is a region right on the border of chaotic behavior where behavior is complex: local structures are forming and dissolving in very different areas. This is what is meant by self-organized criticality, i.e. a system will become self-organized over time.

Cellular automata (CA) is a basic tool of complexity studies. CA consist of a two-dimensional grid of cells in which the state of any individual cell (on or off) at a given time step is determined by the states of eight neighboring cells at the previous time step. The state of any given cell, whether it is on or off, colored or not colored, is going to be determined by its fitness in an iterated prisoner's dilemma game. The emergent cooperative behavior is observed when CA are applied to game-theoretic models.

The GAs provide an adaptive dimension to this model by focusing on optimization. There are six stages of applying GAs to a problem:

(1) Represent a problem in a binary form, as a chromosome, called partial combinatorial solution strategy. We have pieces of a solution, because the solution space is so large that you cannot represent an entire solution. Pieces of the solution are represented as chromosomes with the values of individual genes representing various parameters that we are studying.

(2) Specify the environment in terms of values for genetic operators and game parameters. These include number of generations, population size, mutation rate, and payoff structure. This involves the evaluation function for fitness.

(3) Initialize the population, usually from a random start, depending on the user's goals, though it is often most useful to randomize the first generation of strategies.

(4) Evaluate the population (selection) with regard to some criteria of fitness, in this case your average payoff in the iterated game.

(5) Evolve the population (amplification) by amplifying certain traits in the succeeding population. If you have selected the more fit members of the population and allow them to combine you will come up with a new population that -- since it was selected on the basis of fitness -- will be more fit.

(6) Mutation is the last step in evolving the population which includes applying probability tests to individual genes.

In the context of evolutionary optimization, selection, amplification and mutation serve as the GA operators. A population of possible solutions, encoded in a GA, is evaluated according to some user-defined criteria (selection for fitness) and the most successful are allowed to pass on their genetic material to the next generation (amplification through mating and crossover). Mutation operates randomly providing alternate solutions within a convergent population.

If you play IPD games as Axelrod did, over the previous three moves, with 64 possible genes in each "strategy chromosome," your solution space will be 16 quintillion possibilities. There is no way that you can take a linear search strategy and go through that solution space to find out the outcome of the game based on three previous moves.

This is where the GAs come in by taking a number of possible solutions, say about 100, and sprinkling them randomly around the fitness landscape (all those different possibilities, 16 quintillion by 16 quintillion). The GA evaluates each possible solution. If we look at it topographically, you will have valleys of low fitness and peaks of high fitness. Those solutions at the high peaks will continue to reproduce, those in the valleys would die out. Eventually, you will get concentrations of fit solutions. Axelrod did that and observed the evolution of cooperation over time. He came to the conclusion that if you are going to play a PD game, Tit-for-Tat was an evolutionary stable strategy. The system stabilized at mutual cooperation. However, if a growing population continues to play Tit-for-Tat it becomes vulnerable to invasion. That person or state that comes in and decides to play all Ds (Defect) against those who are all playing all Cs (Cooperate) gets a higher payoff than Tit-for-Tat does.

This brings us back to world politics. I have taken it farther from where Axelrod left off by asking what happens if you let the game run longer. If the population of all Cs is going to be invaded by Ds, what are the dynamics of such an invasion? In my computer simulations, cooperation was established early on (like with Axelrod) and at some point there are punctuated equilibria which is consistent with evolutionary biology. Systems playing a certain game are going to react according to punctuated equilibrium leading to instability. When a population decides to go monomorphic (i.e. play one strategy) it becomes extremely vulnerable to invasion which happens rapidly and catastrophically and the system fails. This leads to the question of how such a system can be stabilized.

In my study I looked at each of the 64 possible genes in a population and found that all genes behaved very much the same in their strategy of playing the game except two (genes number 22 and 38) which in only seven generations went down considerably. One shrank from 100 percent to zero. When I controlled for these genes doing a little bit of a genetic engineering for strategy I found that the system failed to destabilize. So, by altering two of the 64 genes cooperation was achieved on nine out of ten runs.

What I am saying is that stability in a system of states achieved over time (on the Axelrod model) can degenerate. My findings suggest that stability can be enforced, but it remains to identify at what point defections make the system fail so that one can keep the population from becoming vulnerable. In other words, the question is how many "bad guys," how many North Koreas does one need in the system to keep the states from loosing that suspicious edge that keeps the population stable.

Stephen Majeski: Both papers have been designed to put the rational choice theory in its place in one way or another, but there seems also to be some intricate alliance with rational choice in a number of interesting ways. This can be seen as part of attempts to design better theories than rational choice, among them is evolutionary psychology that also tries to improve on some problems typical of more traditional cognitive approaches. Underlying both papers is a notion of linear progress within this evolutionary approach. We know that in biological evolution that is not true at all.

Dr. Farkas' approach looks to me more like rational choice. It was striking and unusual that he focused on information processing as a mechanism whereby non-rational individual make better and better decision over time. Individuals who process information more effectively influence and make policy decisions, gain stature, and therefore begin to populate more of their offspring. They get the word of the President, they control things. People who had made bad choices are forced out, they are the Les Aspins of the world who die of a heart attack. The key mechanism here is information. Two problems with this are that (1) it is not clear whether better information processing leads to better decisions; (2) there is no evidence showing that groups actually processes information better over time. While some case studies suggest that the Kennedy administration failed at the Bay of Pigs and by learning made a better decision during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we have no evidence to support the idea that across administrations policy making groups optimize information processing.

In terms of alternative mechanisms, many students of foreign policy look into how groups themselves, in a sociological sense, learn to make better decisions. The criterion here is not the volume of information -- policy makers usually get too much information, and usually operate on the same information -- but rather a theory of the world on the basis of which they have to make choices, and how this theory changes over time with changes in the world outside. Another mechanism pertains to decision making rules that can vary over time, e.g. heuristics, rules of thumb, repertoires (this is back to cybernetics). One can start with an infinite supply of those rules and see which work over time, i.e. look at processes as opposed to information.

Ken Osterkamp's final pitch about curing a defective population by locating mutant genes in the system was extremely interesting. A weakness here is that the notion of a complex system assumes a large number of elements and a few simple rules. Political systems, however, usually have relatively small numbers of actors, but a lot of complex interaction.

Regarding the assumption made by Axelrod that whatever is successful is likely to appear more in the future, it can be true only in a narrow sense due to changes in environment. Evolutionary biology shows that adaptation can lead to equilibria which are terrible.

A positive element in this approach is bottom-up strategy. Simulation is a powerful way of testing assumptions and learning about emergent properties. Selection, amplification and mutation in this context do not have to be used as initial assumptions, because they may not apply to all of these situations.

Gerhard Mensch: Crude two-by-two approaches could be extremely helpful if one also builds in feedback. For example, the payoff function may shift depending on whether the same moves are repeated. This is now done in game theory and mathematical modeling and observed in real actors. Cognitive psychology comes in strongly here, but one cannot recognize it with a crude approach like a PD game. However, we have seen in the Osterkamp paper an inroad to study these phenomena systematically, do empirical work on it and joining disciplines which rational choice would not even touch.

Jacek Kugler: What is disturbing about Dr. Farkas' paper is the claim regarding limited empirical support for rational choice models, which in fact have extensive empirical support. Secondly, the model presented here is fundamentally different from other rational choice models by introducing the concept of 'good' and 'bad' policy. One can maximize anybody's policy, either Hitler's or Churchill's. Trying to isolate the best policy from a bad policy is problematic.

Peter Corning: There is a very large literature in social psychology on group decision-making comparing individual versus group decisions in a variety of situations where good and bad outcomes are defined in terms of group goals that they all agree to. There is also a company called Human Synergistics which has made a fortune in the last 20 years out of going around many large companies in the United States training management to develop techniques for group decision-making in role-playing situations demonstrating that collaborative decisions are better than the ones made individually. This is due to pooling diverse experiences together.

To start my paper, I share a minority view in social sciences, i.e. there is only one evolutionary paradigm and the sociopolitical evolution is a variation on a larger theme of social organization in nature. Human society and human biology coevolve with mutual causation and feedback. The challenge is how to operationalize this broad world view into a useful analytical framework.

The theory of evolution is a moving target. The 'bottom-up' approach that characterizes Neo-Darwinism does not characterize evolutionary theory as Darwin himself proposed. We are now in the process of rediscovering Darwin's paradigm. Darwin's theory of social evolution is based on a combination of kin/family selection theory and mutualism (meaning that behavior is based on deriving functional advantages from cooperation). Thus, the kind of game theory models that suggest the advantages of cooperation among unrelated individuals is the second potential mechanism of the evolution of social organization independently of altruistic behaviors among kin. The third part of Darwin's model is group selection: groups are viewed as significant instruments of survival and reproduction. Groups have an evolutionary status and can survive independently regardless of genetic differences among the individuals. The role of group selection has recently been rediscovered in evolutionary biology.

Both 'bottom-up' and 'top-down' theories of evolutionary change may be relevant. According to Darwin, the three mechanisms (kin selection, mutualism, group selection) of evolution are not antagonistic, but complimentary, working in the same direction toward development of socially organized groups.

The paper contains a more detailed analysis of this interactive mechanism. What goes on in the political "ecosystem," international system, the political systems and the economy is only part of a hierarchy of interactive causation that starts with the geophysical environment, population dynamics, the ecological factor and biological needs associated with human nature and with the variety of cultural traditions and historical experiences. The latter greatly influence the path-dependency related to our economic and political processes.

Anthropologists have established that ancient civilizations like the Accadians and the Mayans 'mysteriously' disappeared due to major climate changes which made them unable to support themselves. Hence, a simple change in one variable at the bottom of the hierarchy was responsible for a catastrophic change at the top. Another example are the Igorot, a primitive society in the Philippines that took a drastic heroic response to population pressures when the Spanish invaded in the 16th century. They had to change their subsistence system which had been based on family units involved in "slash-and-burn" agricultural production to large coordinated efforts of building and maintaining impressive earthwork rice terraces, dams and canals carved out of precipitous mountain sides. They also developed a complex political organization to go along with it. What made this shift possible was the presence of the cyanobacteria in soil, water and plant nodules that engaged in a symbiotic nitrogen fixation greatly enhancing the fertility of rice plants. If you wipe this one bacterium out, the whole system would collapse. Political scientists are often unaware of these lower-level variables of evolutionary change and stability.

Anthropology is a good source of empirical data on the close coupling of biological, economic and political traits. In one study, for instance, a hundred of the most important traits for various human societies were isolated showing a clear regression line between the logarithmic growth of population and the number of organizational traits exhibited by a variety of pre-industrial societies. You see something similar in the correlates of government expenditure and the number of government employees, in military expenditures, GNP, GNP per capita, population growth, urbanization in 145 countries, based on the 1970 data compiled by the University Consortium for Political Research. Other studies showed that there is a significant correlation between the level of economic and political evolution as defined by the number of traits identified in these societies.

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla: A major component of the biological theory of evolution presented here is the selection hypothesis. It seems that biologists do not seem to give a convincing answer as to what is a fair empirical, rigorous test for the selection hypothesis. What is the supportive evidence showing that selection is at work? There are cases where selection works and cases not supportive of the hypothesis' predictions. You may argue, for example, that homo sapiens prevailed over the Neanderthals, but then invented nuclear weapons and that was not very efficient. Neanderthals were remarkably peaceful, gregarious, and good natured. In the evolutionary sense that may have been a change for the worse.

Peter Corning: One thing that evolutionary theory predicts is that the process is very difficult to predict. The statement that the fittest survive is a tautology, the point is that they survived because they had adaptive characteristics because of functional properties, it was not stochastic, random, or God's plan. For example, in 1900 there were about 10,000 automobiles in this country and 25 million horses. In 1960 there were about 60 million automobiles and five million horses. There was a differential selection process here.

Andrew Farkas: A falsifiable model would make predictions about frequency distributions of horses and automobiles. Otherwise, an evolutionary theory is no more falsifiable than Marxism.

Jacek Kugler: The problem with the structure of variables in Peter Corning's paper is that it is hard to concentrate on what is manipulable. The reason why we do not pay that much attention today to territory and other such factors is that the economic parameters are much more important. We change the kind of things that we deal with over time and this should be embedded in the structure of an evolutionary model. Today, for example, many countries do not have to worry about low birth rates and expanding their populations, a problem that applied to primitive societies. Different problems would arise in different societies.

Peter Corning: Nevertheless, Iran and Iraq went to war over territory and, on a different level, the warnings of planetologists may come to pass and climate warming may drastically change patterns of agricultural productivity such that suddenly large populations might face starvation. This would cause an upheaval unimaginable in our complacent, stable environment. We treat this variable as constant because we don't understand its potential to vary under other circumstances. < /P>

(Mikhail Alexeev)

 

 

 

Session Three

Diversity and Competition in Contemporary Capitalism

 

Gerhard Mensch began with a definition of egotistical cooperation which involves coordination, multiple unrelated individuals, mutually beneficial outcomes, and non-altruistic behavior. In this model, cooperation concerning collective goods is possible. However, a dilemma arises when one speaks to the issue of economic change, namely how does one account for complementary substitution or sectoral change. For example, at the turn of the twentieth century a transformation in the mode of transportation occurred as horses and horse-drawn carriages were replaced by the automobile and its internal combustion engine. These substitutions would occur only when the alternative is in place and when its benefits exceed the costs of switching over to a new technology. However, such a technological shift also affects other related industries and trades. Consequently, as technology develops, it develops in clusters rather than gradually. These spurts in technological development result in variations in power differentials within a firm and between organizations (and hence states). This evolutionary theory of technological development parallels that of Schumpeter (namely, that of dynamic rivaling coalitions) and Darwin in which economic selection is analogous to evolutionary selection and in which first mover advantages are afforded to the initial developer of technology.

Neoclassical economics replaced this quasi-Darwinian economic evolutionary model, though. The neoclassical theory was incredibly popular due to its system of thought and architecture of models which could be so precise as to limit the arguments on the definition of terms, its mathematical algorithms and its empirical work. As a consequence, normative economics went about trying to improve the system and spent less time on debating the system. So now evolutionary economics must improve on neoclassical theoryís high standards of rigor and to improve with dynamic process, with new variables, or explain what productivity models cannot explain. We must look for more cross-correlated and synergistic variables.

Now there are two or three schools of thought with a new model architecture with meaningful data and algorithms to calculate. This leads to three factors which must be incorporated into a normative evolutionary theory that is in the preliminary stages of development. This theory must begin to address questions of relevance and measurement.

At a panel chaired by Richard Nelson last year, three of the leading models - Japanese, Italian, and American - were presented. The American model, going back to 1966 in Stanford, is the model which one member had chosen to present. The speakerís scholarship in this area started with his discovery of cultural anthropology (which he admired for its data collection), and a look at the average rate of social change in Greece, followed by the United Kingdom and Spain, culminating, seven years later, in a study focusing on seventeen economic processes in an industrializing region of Brno, Czech Republic. The paper titled "From a Provincial Town to an Industrial Region" studied the process of industrialization and its various aspects including ideological, institutional, military, organizational, and others. The paper spawned a concept of the political economy of social innovation in which social change can be seen as developing in clusters. With mathematization, one can speak of a discontinuity theory with a strong causative set of forces, which, though not deterministic, may be necessary conditions. The sufficiency conditions resulting therefrom lead to a discussion of an evolutionary process.

Following on his work on Brno, the speaker and his colleagues applied this theory to the 20th century in a work called "Stalemate of Technology: Innovations Overcome the Depression" twenty years ago. The result of the next twenty years was a model architecture, two different frameworks, and data speaking to relevant variables. This theory was them applied to United States and German industry. The result is a micro-macro model of economic change including innovation, strategic investment, short and long swings in industrial transformation, and dynamic competition. The model speaks about firms, costs and revenue sides of investorsí activities and investors as economic variables.

William R. Thompson presented a paper on the challenges in the global political economy with two characteristics: he was looking for a way of modeling US-Japan trade relations, and he was looking at a way to help with a long -term perspective, stretching back to the experience of the past millennium. The basis of his argumentation was part of a longer term project involving two former students trying to explain the role of challenges in the global political economy in what started out to be the last 500 years but is now including the last thousand years.

It is the premise of his analysis that challenges are like military-strategic conflict (e.g., the German-British conflict of the early twentieth century), or trade friction (such as that in recent US-Japanese trade relations. But these events have a longer pedigree which draws out the structural features which show why some challenges have more impact on the world system than others. To model this recurrent long term process, seven assumptions are critical: 1. leading sectors; 2. clustering of leading sectors; 3. active zones and lead economies therein; 4. historical sequencing of lead economies; 5. technology gradients; 6. maritime vs. territorial struggles (work in biology suggests that variation in the aquatic nature/behavior of species leads towards species variation); and 7. aspiration of monopolization.

Within this framework, challenges are part and parcel of this system in which states are unwilling to surrender their position. However, greater powers inevitably decay and power diffuses over time. Hence, the interesting question is why some challenges become more intensive than others.

A five variable model which includes features other than merely the structural answers this question. It centers around threat perceptions and the identification of challengers and challenged. In this model, there have been ten and one half iterations of this phenomenon. Using it, we can predict who is more likely to challenge and the intensity of that challenge. We cannot predict with absolute certainty, though, who will challenge, or at what time they will challenge, or what type of challenge will be implemented.

Moreover, looking at the development of strategy by the challengers over time, one can see that particular strategies have died out. Namely, the "capture the center" strategy has been supplanted by an outflanking of the center. In fact, there has been a convergence of strategies.

Concerning Japanese-U.S. trade relations, then, an important factor will be the role of China and its ability to destabilize the Japanese attempts to establish hegemony in East Asia. In addition, the distancing factor between Japan and the U.S .is unspecified and undetermined. If Japan approaches the U.S. or vice versa, one could predict less of a threat.

Kazimierz Poznanski put out a theoretical account of the diversity in Eastern Europe by means of an evolutionary framework. Evolutionary theory is the best approach to understanding diversity in Eastern Europe. Starting with the notion that there must be one solution to the transition to capitalism, East European leaders quickly found that not to be the case. Instead, three models emerged. In Poland, the model adopted was the shock therapy approach which employed immediate and intensive sacrifice. As a consequence, two other models - that of a gradual and evolutionary path, and that of a more chaotic path - emerged.

The determination of transition to capitalism in Eastern Europe may be seen as a product of feedback mechanisms not only internal to a state but with and between the ex-socialist states in general. So, what are the differences among the three models? We can begin to see the differences by looking at the development of privatization. In Polandís shock therapy, assets are quickly divested without a search for a best buyer, even when that is against the interest of the workers. Sale of state assets is encouraged on the market. In Russia, the chaos model shows how the state initiates a shock therapy but the workers and managers take over the firms/property rights. The Russian model shows weak outside control of this process; as a consequence, firms privatize at variable rates or not at all. In China, the middle route of confusion shows how the economy becomes private without formal privatization. That is to say, a private economy arises in parallel to the state section which remains unlikely to be sold off. Common to all models, however, is the continuity of the old guard as the major benefactor.

What difference does it make that states privatize in different ways? In Poland, shock therapy initiated a drastic recession combined with high inflation, poverty, unemployment and low capital formation. Within a few years, the economy began to grow and inflation stabilized, but this has not alleviated poverty or unemployment. In Russia, the economy has collapsed and currency speculation has weakened the ability of Moscow to foster economic growth. In China, on the other hand, there have been few negative trends and a wealth of incredible achievements.

This analysis suggests that in this evolutionary typology, there are variations in preconditions and imperfect knowledge which lead towards more than one equilibrium solution in the transition to capitalist economics.

Joel Migdal commented on the above papers. He said that in his view Thompson made a good point in showing that not all competition is the same and that threatening ones will be qualitatively different. However, a couple of methodological questions arise. First, if the challenger is rational and goal seeking, determining who is thwarting its upward progress, does the challenger coordinate its action/challenge? Has Thompson not accorded history a type of purposefulness and coordination which is problematic? Instead might history not be more contingent and less determined? Second, addressing Thompsonís own question of whether old and new challenges are comparable, we might criticize that his paper produces an equivocal answer. Finally, Thompsonís method may be unsuited for time/space bound questions.

In his assessment of Poznanskiís paper, the written comments note the strong conservative bias in its assumption and questions how the whole process of transition occurs at the institutional level.

Finally, in his assessment of Menschís presentation, the commentator questions whether there are no innovations without discontinuities. How do we judge technological change if the costs are continuous and incremental? Moreover, who is the actor in the Mensch analysis? Finally, do we assume purposive institution building is bad?

In the question period, George Modelski asked Mensch about the implications of his model for contemporary eastern Germany. Gerhard Mensch found this question to be a little troubling because of the differences in how one defines a region, and because of the turbulent, disruptive life in the transition to capitalism. Moreover, questions of how to create institutions to stabilize this transition differ depending upon the origin (ex-GDR vs. FRG) and also within the former GDR (Brandenburg-Saxony vs. the regions nearer the former West Germany). These differences are also noticeable in Poland. They are correlated with variations in sectoral performance.

Jacek Kugler questioned Poznanski as to whether he needed a political analysis of economic policy. For example, Chinaís dramatic departure into capitalism could be seen as dependent upon what will receive popular support.

Joel Migdal wondered where the politics was in these papers, noting that the emphasis on information shortages takes politics out of the equation.

William Thompson was asked whether there would be a possibility for multiple leadership in the global system. He conceded the possibility but argued this would provide greater tension in the American-Japanese relationship. Perhaps such a coalition could emerge as a consequence of Chinese ascendancy.

Gerhard Mensch marked in his conclusion the importance of looking at Schumpeterian goods with rates of entry and exit which leads one to conclude a possible rivalry between those supporting entry and exit goods and the possibility of latecomers rising rapidly to the challenge.

Kazimierz Poznanski noted that in determining the path to capitalism the cost of change must be weighed in terms of the potential benefits and many choose the gradual pattern because of its flexibility.

(Bill Kottmeyer)

 

 

Session Four

The Evolution of World Institutions

 

Ann Florini began the presentations with a paper on the evolution of international norms. The first part of the paper concerned the definition of norms in international relations (IR) literature. She argued that norms were standards of behavior by international actors that are widely regarded as legitimate. Legitimacy is important or else the concept of norms becomes too vague, disintegrating to just a list of international behaviors that are widely practiced. She also cited the constructivist literature of Wendt and Keohane on the role of ideas and agency in international relations.

The second part of the paper linked norms in the international realm with memes in the genetic literature. This connection was made because norms are instructional units (like genes) for action in the environment. In this concept, actorsí decisions are instructed by norms. Norms are also contested and transmitted throughout the environment, shaping state behavior.

The third part of the presentation focused on the reproduction of norms on the selection mechanism. She argued that learning models were individualistic, and that state decisions were non-rational anyway. She proposed an emulation model that started with imitation of successful behavior followed by a cognitive process that is really the rationalization of a new behavior. This process is safer than the trial and error of new behaviors in a competitive environment with potentially high costs. Emulation also explains international policy convergence over time.

The speaker used the examples of slavery and colonialism as international norms which had undergone evolution as starting points for research and was looking for the workshop to open up other areas for future study.

Karen Litfin commented on Floriniís presentation by raising a series of questions that the paper had provoked. She remarked that norms carried with them a sense of "oughtness", that is, might they be masking a theory of international ethics? Is the evolution of norms a matter of progress from bad norms to good norms? Are those norms responsible for the changes in international behavior?

An evolutionary theory of norms must be able to confront standard IR theory to provide better explanations. In the cases of the demise of slavery and colonialism as norms, does the evolutionary model provide a better answer than economic theories on wage labor and capitalism or realist theories of neo-colonialism and great power control?

More work needs to be done on the origin of norms in the model. The addition of material on Gramscian hegemony and domestic sources of norm creation might be helpful. The literature on transnational NGOís and global sociology could provide useful help in the study of the role of "norm entrepreneurs".

The last area of commentary was in reference to the modelís predictive value. How was it possible to tell which norms would be more compatible with existing norms, which had a better evolutionary fit within the existing world distribution of power, and which were more survivable? The modelís use of emulation and social learning as the source of agency in this process was considered weak and in need of strengthening.

Ann Florini responded on three counts. She argued that the evolution of norms she was using was not "change", but systemic change according to a specified process. She added that the examination of the origin of norms was secondary to the examination of the spread and acceptance of norms in the international system. Lastly, she noted that her theory was an analytic/descriptive one, not one that was aiming at extensive predictive capabilities at this time.

Other comments on the paper were offered by George Modelski, Peter Corning, Gerhard Mensch, and Ray Dacey. Modelski suggested expanding the time dimension of the model to account for norm change over a significant period ranging from decades to up to several centuries. Corning observed that the study of the use and non-use of war declaration before and after World War II might be helpful in the larger picture of norm evolution. Mensch supported the idea that absolute predictive power was not essential to advance the field, that in economics, predictions of range and parameters of change are advancements when these have not been previously possible. Both Dacey and Modelski commented on the necessity for norm change to be embedded in a web of coherent norms in order for survival, enforcement, and diffusion.

Jacek Kugler, the next presenter, developed a shorter range model of power transition and war in international relations. He expected his model to predict what states will fight wars in the near term, and how intensively they will fight. He stated that this question was vital in an era of multipower existence and the risk of nuclear escalation.

The model measured power using GDP per capita and population size among major powers in the periods from 1815 - 1900, 1900 - 1949, and 1950 - 1993. One of the central hypotheses was that as two states approached parity, and if one or both were dissatisfied with the status quo of the world system, then war would ensue. If both states were status quo powers, then there would be a peaceful power transition in the system.

Another hypothesis explained the peaceful transition of power that occurred between the United States and Great Britain before 1900. Neither country had an extended dispute with the other, and there was no arms race between the two in the period immediately before the transition.

The two periods after 1900 were characterized by relative power measurements that were very similar, but they produced one period of extreme warfare (1900 - 1949) and one period of peaceful power transitions (1950 - 1993).  This was explained by the establishment of a dominant alliance by the United States in the second period, which provided security and positive economic rewards to all members, and by the establishment of the EC. Both of these created a number of status quo states in Europe, rather than the variety of satisfied and dissatisfied states that characterized the period including both world wars.

The model can also be extended into the near future, focusing on the accelerating rise of China, the decline of Russia, and the relative leveling off of the United States, Europe as a whole, and Japan. The United States and Europe were satisfied powers who, if they anticipated the possibility of a Chinese transition, should devise policies to strengthen NATO, incorporate Russia into the alliance, and avoid the alienation of Japan. Such a dominant coalition would then be in position to respond to the transition of China to a position of power.

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla followed with a presentation of his evolutionary model of the first patterns of warfare in state level societies. Before getting to the substance of his paper, he noted that this project would, when complete, extend the contemporary war studies of Levy, Singer, and Midlarsky back to antiquity. The project was also quite interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together political scientists, historians, anthropologists, and archaeologists.

The paper concentrated on three pristine areas of civilization and the first rise of warfare in those areas. These were Mesopotamia at around 3000 B.C., China from about 2500 B.C., and Mesoamerica dating from 500 B.C. The project analyzed wars as events at the micro level and warfare as a process at the macro level. It also expounded on a macrostructure for the development of warfare at the global level. The Mesopotamian and Chinese systems became a Eurasian system as the two civilizations interacted intensively after about 200 B.C. This Eurasian system then came into contact with the Mesoamerican system around 1500 A.D., creating a global system of war and warfare that has existed ever since.

In all three areas, the micro study of wars took the unit of behavior as a specific event; the complexity of the war was simple (issues and objectives); the duration of the event was measured in months or a few years; and the typology of the wars was of a civil or interstate nature. At the macro level, warfare was examined as a process; its issues and objectives were complex; the duration of the process was decades; and the wars were coalitional and either disintegrative to an empire or integrative to the creation of a new one.

In conclusion, a set of theoretical puzzles were presented for future examination. At the micro level, the study has raised research questions related to the onset, magnitude, and duration of individual wars, the rise and fall of specific actors, and the relationship between wars and the structure of the system as a whole. At the macro level, theoretical questions arose about periods of punctuated equilibria and warfare, along with issues of parallel evolution in the three systems, and important issues around the fusion of the separate systems and post-fusion turbulence, while questions of dominance by one system over others during periods of fusion, and cycles of warfare, completed the presentation.

Commentary on these two papers was provided by William R. Thompson. He started with a general observation about the absence of explicit evolutionary theoretical work in both papers. He noted they both used evolution to mean "change", and remarked that the evolutionary paradigm has been further advanced by theories of economic change and development than by theories of warfare and power, but added that evolution was occurring within both of these long term research programs.

With regard to the Kugler paper, the comments began with a disagreement over the use of GDP and population as measuring devices, as the commentator preferred the use of "leading sectors" as measurements of economic power and predictors of future courses. The absence of GDP information covering any period before 1815 might demonstrate the weakness of the model to explain events outside of the 1815 - 1995 period. There was also disagreement over any premature assessment of China as a future dominant power, as it just as likely could break up or be incorporated into a larger East Asian regional system. The use of the terms "satisfied" and "dissatisfied" was also regarded as a loosely constructed variable.

The comments on the presentation by Claudio Cioffi-Revilla focused on the projectís seeming intention to examine the development of warfare as separate from economic, social, and political systems, when, in fact, warfare could only have developed as an integral part of an overall environment. The commentator agreed that the study of the fusion of warfare processes with the three areas was meaningful. To this could be added a study of the relationship between warfare and technology change among nomads and sedentary groups. These would provide a dynamic, evolutionary approach rather than a study of typologies of wars and warfare. In reference to the micro/macro distinction that was being drawn, it was argued that a more general model of belligerence or a model of generic rivalry processes could explain both phenomena.

The presenters both responded to the comments with short statements addressing the issues raised. Jacek Kugler stated that, while evolutionary economics drive relative power relationships, the choices faced by states in the international arena did not change. He pointed out that the multipower model, with its competition for hegemonic power, would be risky in a world populated by dissatisfied states with nuclear weapons. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla held that punctuated equilibria models, rather than distinct biological theories, would be more useful to a model of long term politico-military change. He argued that dynamic games were not occurring at the micro level of individual wars, but that the use of rivalry models at that level might be helpful.

In the last paper Andrew Bosworth examined the evolution of the world city system from about 3000 B .C. to the present. He divided the evolution of this system into six distinct phases and corresponding regions of dominant world cities: (1) 3000 B.C.: the Fertile Crescent; (2) 1500 - 200 B.C.: regional isolation; (3) 200 B.C. - 1500: Silk Roads; (4) 25 B.C. - 1800: Spice Routes; (5) 1500 - 1950: Atlantic; (6) 1950 - : Pacific/Global. This process has been characterized by cyclical changes in the rise and fall of cities and trade routes between the Silk Roads and the Spice Routes from 200 B.C. to 1500. At the same time, there existed both cooperation and competition among cities on these routes. The system has also survived the expansion of the global population from around five to twenty million to over five billion, and the change in the connections between cities from linear to multinodal.

Continual blockage and the circumvention process were two evolutionary aspects of the model stressed in the beginning of this presentation. The opening and closing of trade routes and cities placed constant pressure for change in the world economy and the rise and fall of international actors. There is a selection of cities that is both social and natural. Social selection takes place in the form of wars, elections, and market forces, while natural selection takes place via earthquakes, diseases, and floods.

The evolutionary mechanisms of variety generation, cooperation, selection and preservation were also present in the model. The rise of new cities, the articulation of new connections among cities, the consolidation of positions as national and world centers of power, and the maintenance of those positions by economic groups corresponded to the four processes - cultural, social, political, and economic.

Several workshop participants commented on this paper. Mark Zacher asked if the cities were really separate from the states in which they existed, and if so, did that separateness enhance city autonomy? William Thompson noted that the model most appropriate might be one of gravity flow of trade between the imperial states at each end of the linear trade routes - a flow that lasted approximately 2000 years, before it was replaced by the last 500 year dominance of maritime flow. Peter Corning wondered what percentage of trade flows could be accounted for by local economic growth. Jacek Kugler stated that the addition of the evolution of air trade and traffic might be useful to the future of the model. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla supported the general direction of the work by arguing that cities are building blocks for political units, market centers, and are the home of elite decision making. He also wanted cities from the New World added to the model because they too possessed many of the connections that were the subject of inquiry in the paper.

(Dan Whiteneck)

 

 

 

SESSION FIVE: ROUNDTABLE

"The Essentials of an Evolutionary Paradigm for the Social Sciences"

 

George Modelski opened the roundtable session by asking the question, "are we [the conference participants] just ships passing in the night, or do we have anything in common. . . .Are we using a common evolutionary paradigm?" It seems that we are all essentially concerned with how natural, social or political selection affects long-term structural change in large systems.

Eric A. Smith: I am a bit skeptical about what I heard. However, I am committed to the idea that evolutionary explanations may answer questions that other approaches can't. In the past, evolutionary paradigms have had a checkered past. There are a few problems with evolutionary approaches. First, there is no single evolutionary paradigm, even though the 'selectionist' aspect may be useful. Second, evolutionary explanations are necessary but not sufficient. Third, Spencer and Darwin show that successful explanations require microfoundations. A focus on macrofoundations is insufficient. Analogy to biology, progressive views, purposeful directionality are not addressed here.

There are two viable theories for complex design; (1) natural selection and (2) individual choice with intentionality and agency. The concept of evolution should be restricted to processes with non-intentional design. Unfortunately, there has been a tendency to conflate the two here. Agency and decision-making are insufficient to explain social phenomena. Because choices are made on the basis of preferences and beliefs, then we need an explanation for how beliefs and preferences are formed. This is where selectionist or evolutionary analysis could be useful. We can not look at whole systems adapting. We need to look at how individuals make the choice.

Tatsuo Tanaka: What is an evolutionary approach? Simply, pattern changes in history. There is also evolution in the biological sense. There are key concepts in the evolutionary paradigm to include innovation, dynamics, path-dependency, mutation, selection, and optimization. The key question to ask is, "is evolution equal to progress?" The two answers to this question are: (1) Yes, because the selection mechanism produces a 'survival-of-the-fittest' logic where in actors become better and better. (2) No, because path dependency exists. The existence of several paths creates diversity. Actors can take different paths depending on the given conditions.

Eric Smith: If progress is defined as locally restricted population, then it is possible to say we have progress. For example, if we alter the environment where a population is below a fitness peak, and later that population is closer to the peak, then there is progress. However, the notion of "progress" is usually implied in the context of a global equilibrium. In this case, we can not talk about progress in the Darwinian context.

Mark Zacher: It is possible to have a liberal notion of progress in the context of increasing freedom of humankind.

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla: Evolution must remain open to non-Darwinian interpretations.

Peter Corning: Let's unpack the notion of progress as Spencer and others have. Two factors are relevant: (1) internal dynamic and causal determination of progress. (2) The Darwinian concept of progress is a historical trend with respect to functional properties. Complexity of organization is, for example, one trend that has been both progressive and continuous. It may be a dead-end. We can't really know if it is "better," because it is a functional trend.

Ken Osterkamp: Key to the notion of evolution are the mechanisms of selection, amplification, and mutation. Cooperation does evolve in complex systems, because it is successful at yielding better results over time. Systems that display cooperation will be selected over systems that do not display cooperation in game theoretical conditions. However, cooperation can also devolve over time.

Eric Smith: Are you just pouring old wine in new bottles? It is important to remember that social systems have purposive actors.

George Modelski: Evolution can also be considered as the accumulation of useful information. In that view, evolution does lead to progress.

Ann Florini: One question that needs to be addressed is "what is the value added from employing an evolutionary paradigm?" Does it provide any valuable or useful insights into social phenomena which can not be derived from other analytical approaches, or is it just another way to say the same thing using different words?

Gerhard Mensch: Without microfoundations a social science paradigm is nothing. The weasel word should be life science versus social science. The crude instruments of equilibrium theory get more difficult to use as one moves from physics to biology to economics to politics.

Mikhail Alexseev: Recall that the composer Stravinski once said, "a genius doesn't create; he steals." Therefore, we must ask what the field of international relations (IR) can steal from the evolutionary paradigm in order to advance research agendas which have been stuck. The classic division in international relations theory is the 'system-state-individual' levels of analysis. These standard levels cause analysts to get fixed on patterns of decision, distribution of capabilities, and a host of other political phenomena. The problem for IR scholars is that changes in the realm of international politics tend to accumulate at the various levels. The collapse of the USSR is a case in point. Waltz said that the USSR would outlast Ford and Mitsubishi.

Evolutionary paradigms are a way to unlock closed theoretical doors. They allow us to check selection processes at the system and state levels with strategies that lead to certain outcomes. For example, the rise of global leaders. Evolutionary approaches allow us to ask if states employ specific strategies in rising or falling. They introduce the key dimension of time. Moreover, the paradigm is useful for examining how actors process information. Usually the assumption is that actors have cost-free access to all information. There is no solid theory about differentiation of information.

There is also the question of parsimony and elegance of a theory. The evolutionary paradigm can give us insights and new methodological tools which can be incorporated in IR models. For example, massively parallel processing power allows us to do infinite tasks at the same time. This is a uniquely evolutionary methodology which can be applied to IR. It is also a good platform for a fusion between IR and comparative models, historians, sociologists, and others. The evolutionary paradigm allows people from different paradigms to do some projects together. Currently there are, by some accounts, some 24 paradigms in IR. In short, there is much promise in the evolutionary paradigm.

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla: There are actually already a number of IR works which employ evolutionary approaches. For example, Richardson's 2-nations' arms race theory, Quincy Wright's work on war, functionalist theory, Modelski and Thompson's work, etc.. There are many others. These works explain phenomena over time, rather than cross-sectionally.

Peter Corning: Evolution is related to functional properties that deal with how designs for survival come about. I'd like to ask Eric Smith a couple of questions. What does evolution mean in Anthropology? Are organisms micro or macro phenomena? If they are macro, then are they agents with causal properties, or are they epiphenomena? Current research indicates that most systems can not be reduced to the sum of the parts. We need multi-level analyses.

Eric Smith: Anthropology has two evolutionary paradigms. The first is the classical paradigm of Morgan, Spencer, and Tyler which was renounced by Boas, Durkheim, and others. Instead, Boas argued that it was necessary to look at each culture as a separate entity. This second paradigm characterizes anthropology today.

George Modelski: What about the issue of microfoundations for the evolutionary paradigm? Can we say that models of Osterkamp and Farkas provide the necessary microfoundations for a macro theory of systemic evolution?

Ken Osterkamp: Genetic algorithm is necessarily going to be an evolutionary analysis. The concepts of selection, amplification, and mutation are evolutionary mechanisms.

Andrew Farkas: Yes, what my analysis attempts to do is to provide an explanation of macro behavior as a function of micro behavior of humans. The concept is that selection processes occur in the normal decision-making process of policy-makers. Essentially my model explains how rational decisions can be produced by a group of 'arational' individuals. The result of the policy selection process is that 'fitter' solutions become selected for. In this sense it provides micro foundations for an evolutionary paradigm of social science.

Gerhard Mensch: The 'proof pudding' of any paradigm is its microfoundations. In economics there are essentially three paradigms: Keynsian, Marxist, and Neo-classical. They all have different micro foundations. The problem is that all three are wrong. For example, the neo-classical paradigm is not aggregable. On the other hand, evolutionary economics does, however, provide some logical microfoundations.

Kazimierz Poznanski: It is useful to have an anthropological point of view, because we have not done enough to outline our methodology. Evolution offers a different approach. We, in the social sciences, should stay within the logic of biological evolution. There are two points I'd like to make before discussing some building blocks for the evolutionary paradigm. First, the issue of whether or not evolution is progress can not be discussed in isolation of the paradigmatic assumptions. Second, evolutionary theory is essentially one of different theories of change. Evolution is attractive as a paradigm for the social sciences.

The following concepts are some theoretical building blocks for evolutionary analysis:

1. Evolution is a micro approach, one which looks at the smallest unit of analysis. That unit could be either an individual or a small group.

2. There is the concept of quasi-rationality. A problem is that individuals in small groups have limited knowledge. There is, therefore, some randomness in outcomes.

3. We recognize the possibility that multiple equilibria are possible. In other words, diversity is possible.

4. Cooperation is a principal survival strategy, not an operator. It has been selected for because it tends to yield the best results over time.

5. Evolutionary theory is a theory of knowledge. The flow of knowledge is a key factor in the process of evolution. The problem is that the exact flow is hard to measure. The brain even works while we are sleeping.

6. The assumption of stability is very important. It works through institutions and allows us to store, generate, and use knowledge at relatively lower costs.

7. Change is open-ended; it can happen.

 

Lastly, the following concepts are all inherent in the evolutionary approach: gene-machine, chance, learning process, cognitive ability, fixed rules, path dependency, non-linearity, slack performance, and cooperation.

(Stephen Drago)