Cooperation occurs at all levels of biological and social organization, from the genome to the General Assembly and everything in between: eukaryotic cells, multicellular organisms, microbiomes, social groups, corporations, societies, nations, and economies. Conflict also inevitably occurs at all these levels, resulting in problems ranging from cancer to war. One of the things that make humans such an unusual - and unusually successful - species is the fact that we cooperate with each other in a greater variety of ways and on much larger scales than do members of any other species. Cooperation is such an essential part of being human that we sometimes cooperate with each other for the pure joy of it, as, for example, in music, theater, dance, and athletics. Understanding the common features of cooperation across the many domains in which it occurs is essential to enhancing cooperation and reducing conflict.
The Cooperation Across Domains Working Group consists of people from across the university who share an interest in cooperation. It includes faculty and graduate students from SAS, SEBS, Bloustein, SCI, Mason Gross, SMLR, and RBHS. We plan to meet several times each semester to discuss such issues as cooperation in living systems, legislative agenda-setting as a coordination game, the management of risk through cooperation, negotiation and conflict resolution, cooperation in the performing arts, cooperation among autonomous vehicles, coalitional psychology and cooperation, the management of common pool resources through cooperation, cheating as a problem in cooperation across domains, and cooperation and conflict in labor-management relations.