Biology and Politics

Blog entries related to the application of theories and methods of biology to study political science questions

Biology and Political Science panel at ECPR conference

Together with Dimiter Toshkov (Leiden University), I organised and chaired a panel on Biology and Political Science at this year's ECPR conference in Reykjavik. Some of the presented papers are available for download here

Panel abstract
Recent years have seen a growing cross-fertilization between the natural and social sciences. The increasing convergence of conceptual, theoretical, and methodological toolkits (e.g. network analysis, game theory, and statistical models) fosters the generation of such interdisciplinary insights. This panel is devoted to work that crosses the disciplinary boundaries between biology and political science; either by applying biological theories and methods to political science problems or by applying political theories and methods to topics in biology. Examples of such work include, but are not limited to, the following topics: Population ecology approaches to the study of political institutions and organizations; evolutionary dynamics of the diffusion of policies and ideas; genetic effects on political attitudes; evolutionary causes of international and domestic conflict; collective decision-making in animal groups; development and maintenance of social institutions in animal groups; evolution of cooperation and conflict in general.

Papers and authors

  • Evolutionary Institutionalism – Evolutionary Concepts in Institutional Analysis
    Cathleen  BOCHMANN (Dresden University of Technology)
  • From Cells to States: A Unifying Framework of Social Relativity
    Shade  SHUTTERS (Arizona State University)
    Matus  HALAS (Charles University)
  • Independence and Interdependence: Lessons from the Hive
    Christian  LIST (London School of Economics and Political Science)
    Adrian  VERMEULE (Harvard University)
  • The Physiological Basis of Political Temperaments
    John  HIBBING (University of Nebraska - Lincoln)
    John  ALFORD (Rice University)
    Kevin  SMITH (University of Nebraska - Lincoln)
  • Understanding Emotional Priming Effects through Psychophysiology
    Peter  FOLEY (California Institute of Technology)
    R. Michael  ALVAREZ (California Institute of Technology)
     Ralph  ADOLPHS (California Institute of Technology)
  • Do Psychological Traits Mediate the Relationship Between Genes and Political Participation? (tabled paper)
    Christopher  DAWES (University of California - San Diego)
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