348 pages, Figs, tabs
The biological study of social behaviour has illuminated many aspects of animal and human behaviour and in this book both biologists and social scientists open up new perspectives on the phenomena of conflict, competition, co-operation and violence. Evoluntionary analyses of agonistic and antagonistic behaviour are discussed by an international team of contributers. It includes themes like revolution and "primitive" warfare, comparing the more paroxysmal forms of conflict behaviour, i.e. naked violence and destructiveness, with retreat and fleeing behaviour. These studies highlight the complexities and intricacies of the cost-benefit calculus involved in competitive behaviour; this has led to such insights as; that conflict and co-operation are always intertwined; that "drive" models of aggression have become obselete; that violent interaction is an evolutionary means, not an end in itself and that it makes sense only in the context of reproductive effort. The result is a book that contributes to the continuing literature in sociobiological studies. Most of the chapters are thoroughly revised and updated papers given at a European Sociobiological Society conference in Jerusalem in 1987, with other equally authoritative contributions added. The book will appeal to a wide range of people interested in the origins of conflict, competition and violence.
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