The Evolution of Cooperation

Revised Edition

by

A famed political scientist's classic argument for a more cooperative world

We assume that, in a world ruled by natural selection, selfishness pays. So why cooperate? In The Evolution of Cooperation, political scientist Robert Axelrod seeks to answer this question. In 1980, he organized the famed Computer Prisoners Dilemma Tournament, which sought to find the optimal strategy for survival in a particular game. Over and over, the simplest strategy, a cooperative program called Tit for Tat, shut out the competition. In other words, cooperation, not unfettered competition, turns out to be our best chance for survival.

A vital book for leaders and decision makers, The Evolution of Cooperation reveals how cooperative principles help us think better about everything from military strategy, to political elections, to family dynamics.

  • Basic Books; April 2009
  • ISBN: 9780786734887
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Evolution of Cooperation
  • Author: Robert Axelrod
  • Imprint: Basic Books

In The Press

"Our ideas of cooperation will never be the same."—The Wall Street Journal

About The Author

Robert Axelrod is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. A MacArthur Fellow, he is a leading expert on game theory, artificial intelligence, evolutionary biology, mathematical modeling, and complexity theory. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.