The symposium included in this issue of Analyse & Kritik extends the basis of Cooperation Theory as set forth in Axelrod’s Evolution of Cooperation (1984). This essay begins with an overview of Cooperation Theory in terms of the questions it asks, its relationship to game theory and rationality, and the principal methodologies used, namely deduction and simulation. This essay then addresses the issues raised in the symposium, including the consequences of extending the original paradigm of the two person iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma to take into account such factors as nonsimultaneous play, the ability to offer hostages for performance, social networks of interaction, information sharing that can support reputations, learning behavior, envy, misunderstanding, and an option to exit. The essay places the contributions of this symposium in the context of previous research on these and related issues.
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