chapter  11
14 Pages

Indispensable Framework or Just Another Ideology? Prisoner’s Dilemma as an Antihierarchical Game 1

ByAaron Wildavsky, Charles Lockhart, Richard M. Coughlin

The ideological bias in the way the Prisoner's Dilemma (PD) game has been treated is apparent in the explicit rejection of individualism as selfish and hierarchy as coercive. The question of whether or not PD provides an "indispensable framework" then becomes an empirical. Ideology comes in two ways: the constitutional choice, if that is available, of what kind of game to play and, if that is foreclosed, in attempted explanations of the prisoner's motivations in choosing to rank the outcomes the way they do. It is this cultural-ideological-value baggage that people bring with them that might motivate one prisoner to defect while the other chose to cooperate and, as life would have it, to later feel ashamed of such behavior. Cultures, may be conceived as viable institutional answers to problems of how to retain order or, in this locution, cooperation. It follows that there are different forms of cooperation that support different cultures.