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'Viral' Contagion and State Behaviour: Interpreting IR Theory Through Evolutionary Inference

Dec 11, 2013, 1:30pm-3pm

Speaker: Iain Wilson, Visiting Fellow, York Centre for International and Security Studies

It is increasingly uncontroversial to think of the movement of ideas between states as significant for international relations, but there are different ways of understanding how and why some ideas spread more successfully than others. Wilson argues that a neo-Darwinian understanding of cultural evolution, which treats ideas themselves as competing against each other for adoption, represents a promising road not taken by most theorists interested in the role of ideas in international relations. Thinking about politics in this way opens up several intriguing possibilities, not least that possibility that some ideas spread not because they benefit states, or their inhabitants, but because (like viruses) they are well adapted to spread.


Location:749 Kaneff Tower
Sponsor:YCISS
Posted by:Chris Hendershot
Web Sitehttp://bit.ly/1ad1Cvb
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