Committee ChairHechter, Michael
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSeveral theoretical perspectives have emerged in the social sciences to explain variations in social order. In the normative perspective, order is a function of value consensus and the successful internalization of these values. Order in the Hobbesian perspective is a consequence of coercive state social control. However, the former cannot account for high levels of order in heterogeneous societies lacking value consensus, while the latter cannot explain order in large and complex societies where effective monitoring and sanctioning by the state is impossible. More recently, social scientists have shown that stable cooperation among the members of a group is possible on the basis of mechanisms derived from the theory of repeated games. While promising, these theories have not specified how these group-level cooperative institutions can be reproduced at the societal level to produce global order. Nor have they identified the mechanism by which members' compliance with (possibly conflicting) group norms can aggregate to global order. An alternative, solidaristic theory holds that global order is a largely unintended byproduct of the control activities of constituent social groups seeking members' compliance to group norms. It explains global order as a function of the solidarities of groups and the costliness of their members' activities to the state and other groups. Further, the theory specifies the aggregation mechanism by which the meso-level solidarities of various groups produce global order. The theory also implies that the state originally emerges as a means to reduce negative externalities on some groups by the activities of others. I design three separate laboratory experiments to test the solidaristic theory of global order. The first experiment tests the theory's group solidarity submodel. The second and third experiments test a theory of the state which directly underlies the state submodel of the solidaristic theory. The second experiment tests how the state's behavior toward groups varies as a function of their threat to the state. The third experiment tests the state's behavior as a function of the groups' negative externalities on each other and their power over the state. I present the results from the third experiment.