Perspectives on Science seminar 16.4.

At the Perspectives on Science seminar on Thursday 16.4., S. M. Amadae (TINT) will present her paper “The Logic of Discriminatory Conventions”.  The seminar will be organized as an online meeting in Zoom, an online conference tool supported by University of Helsinki.

Perspectives on Science is a weekly research seminar which brings together experts from science studies and philosophy of science. It is organized by TINT, the Centre for Philosophy of Social Science at the University of Helsinki. More information about the seminar here.

Join the Zoom Meeting with this link:
Or with the Meeting ID:  913 448 332

Information about using Zoom can be found here. If you experience problems with Zoom, please contact research assistants jannika.lalu(a), kaisla.kareoja(a) or tatu.nuotio(a)

Author bio:

S. M. Amadae is currently a university lecturer and acting professor in politics at the University of Helsinki, and was awarded a 2019-20 Berggruen Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University.  Her publications include Prisoners of Reason:  Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and the award winning Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy:  Cold War Origins of Rational Choice Liberalism (University of Chicago Press, 2003).  Amadae recently contributed to The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Strategic Stability and Nuclear Risk  (SIPRI, 2019) from the perspective of reducing existential risk of accidental or inadvertent nuclear war. Amadae is currently working on the book project “Neoliberal Seeds of Illberalism:  Nordic Alternatives.”  This research seeks to understand the recent global transition to illiberal hybrid autocratic forms of government and to identify practical interventions consistent with values of participatory governance, a free press, and inclusive economic prosperity. It draws on current research in Finland and the Nordic countries to put forward a non-utopian alternative based on existing practices of democratic governance, free trade, and the welfare state model.

Paper abstract:

This paper provides a basic game theoretic Hawk Dove model for understanding the emergence and maintenance of discriminatory conventions. The key insight is that if a population of homogeneous actors is arbitrarily divided into two subgroups with members marked by a binary coding scheme, in this indefinitely repeating n-person game, an asymmetric equilibrium is the Nash equilibrium and the Evolutionary Stable Strategy (ESS).  Although Hawk Dove has been used to model the rise of property rights on the assumption of asymmetry between the occupant and the challenger, its significance for understanding discriminatory conventions based on binary identification schemes remains under analyzed.Understanding of the strategic logic underlying a discriminatory convention is at least as important for reconciling customary practices of domination as is understanding the underlying strategic logic of Prisoner’s Dilemma for analyzing bargaining and the social contract.  Using insights from coercive bargaining and the evolutionary stable strategy in Hawk Dove with an arbitrary binary marker provides important tools for understanding the emergence and persistence of discriminatory conventions.

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