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Session Overview
RN21_01a_P: RN KEYNOTE SESSION: Explaining Social Cooperation. From Experimental Research to Big Data Analysis
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Henning Best, University of Kaiserslautern
Location: PC.3.17
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: C, Level: 3.

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Explaining Social Cooperation. From Experimental Research to Big Data Analysis

Andreas Diekmann

ETH Zürich, Switzerland

How does social cooperation in groups, markets, and societies evolve? Under which conditions will cooperation decay? What are the pros and cons of various methods to study the emergence, stability and erosion of social norms and cooperation? I will, particularly, focus on the mechanisms that promote self-organized cooperation in the digital world. One of the decentralized mechanisms is reputation by feed back giving. Reputation is a powerful mechanism to sustain cooperation even among traders in the dark net. However, there is also the problem of cheating and effective reputation systems have to mitigate the possibility of faked ratings. Empirical analysis based on experimental designs, statistical techniques of causal analysis, and „big data“ collected by web crawling provides new insights into the mechanisms that promote, stabilize or weaken social cooperation.

Sustainable Cooperation and Societal Resilience

Rafael Wittek

University of Groningen, Netherlands, The

The past two decades came with impressive progress in the multidisciplinary science of cooperation. Thanks also to methodological advances in the collection and analysis of data on cooperation, we now have a much better understanding of the conditions that get cooperation going. I propose that the next important step on the research agenda is to advance our insights into what keeps cooperation going. However, shifting the focus to problems of sustainable cooperation has non-trivial theoretical and methodological implications, several of which I will highlight in this contribution. I will argue that the sustainability of cooperation resides not in the stability of a specific exchange relationship, but in the ability of a cooperative arrangement to ensure value creation also under changing circumstances. This implies not only that sustainable cooperation is joint production that is both stable and valuable, but also that we need to distinguish between the "internal" benefits that the cooperation yields for the cooperators, and its "external" or social value. I will conclude with a discussion of the research design challenges that come with a focus on sustainable cooperation issues.

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