Homo Cooperativus : „Fusion“ als Strategie zur Erforschung globaler Problemlösungen

Am Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research als Institute for Advanced Study wirken internationale Forscherinnen und Forscher zusammen, die neue Zugänge zur Erforschung globaler Kooperation erkunden wollen. Und der Erfolg eines solchen Projekts wird ganz maßgeblich daran zu messen sein, ob es den WissenschaftlerInnen gelingt, neue Ansätze aufzugreifen und anderen Impulse zu geben, sprich: Fusionen anzustoßen, in Gang zu setzen, zu inszenieren.

We face an empirical paradox of cooperation when it comes to looking at global issues and problems such as climate change, the stability of global financial markets or the protection of basic human rights. Both among scientists and politicians there is a broad consensus that, given these global problems, a political reorientation is necessary – and yet, this consensus does not result in respective actions in the field of international cooperation. Research in the field of global cooperation has been treading water lately. Partly because cooperation research is too narrowly fixated on the homo oeconomicus vs. homo sociologicus controversy, different strands of political science have been unable to explain why cooperation does or does not work. The authors’ approach goes beyond the narrow field of global governance and international relations – which is usually concerned with global cooperation – and ‘fuses’ it with other disciplines associated with cooperation: such as evolutionary anthropology, asking for the cooperative potential in human nature. Focusing on homo cooperativus, the authors develop basic elements of a theory of global co-operation in which cooperation is no longer understood as an anomaly, but rather as a property inherent to human nature. The article addresses open research questions such as the problem of scale – the puzzle of how cooperation can work in largescale collectives typical in areas of global concern such as global public goods. It also addresses the ‘culture’ factor, i.e. the question of whether ‘culture’ functions as a resource for or rather a barrier to cooperation among groups. Conceptualising the homo cooperativus concept, which originally stems from behavioural science, with the goal of creating a common point of reference for interdisciplinary research, the authors offer new points of departure in the field of global cooperation research.

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