Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Identity, Authority and Evolution of Order: the trajectory of dueling simulated

Behrooz Hassani-Mahmooei, Behrooz and Vahabi, Mehrdad (2013): Identity, Authority and Evolution of Order: the trajectory of dueling simulated.

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Abstract

Borrowing from public choice literature, while aristocratic civil wars can be regarded as anarchy, and the monopoly of violence by the state as Leviathan, duel of honor is an orderly anarchy. The sudden or gradual withering of duel of honor as an institution marks the transition to the monopoly of violence by the state in Europe. In this paper, we endeavor to capture this transition by introducing a computational model where a simulated agent considers three sets of factors to make its dueling decision: 1) its own characteristics such as dueling skill; 2) its identity such as the reaction received from other members of its own social group; and finally 3) the reaction of the authority such as the possible punishment that could be inflicted by the state against dueler. These factors then interact through a dynamic utility function affected by both optimization and learning processes. The results of our agent-based computational model which are validated against the historical evidence from England, France, and Germany show that a complex, aggregative historical process may be consistently explained on the basis of rational choice of heterogeneous individual agents conditioned by their group identity and authority (organizational) influence.

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