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FEATURE ARTICLE

Grass-roots Justice in Tanzania

Cultural evolution and game theory help to explain how a history of cooperation influences the success of social organizations

Brian Paciotti, Craig Hadley, Christopher Holmes, Monique Mulder

Figure 1. Sukuma in Tanzania...Click to Enlarge Image

Tanzania is a country troubled by political corruption and crime, but one of the country's many ethnic groups, the Sukuma, has recently achieved remarkable success in building sustainable communities with social controls. These rapidly created justice and economic systems require high levels of cooperation. Using anthropological techniques including an "ultimatum game," the authors examine the Sukuma's achievements as a case study in cultural evolution and argue that cooperative institutions promote adaptation.


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