ABSTRACT

Ideas about human nature that shape strategies are relatively simple, offering only a few alternatives. Ideas about institutions are much more complex and present a huge variety of alternatives, which must be reduced to a few general categories in order to select a suitable strategy or to understand a political process. The difference between leader-follower and leader-opponent interactions is at first sight quite uncomplicated: cooperation in the first case and, in the second, an adversarial encounter out of which comes a winner and a loser. The variable that locates an encounter or a strategy on that continuum is the extent to which antagonists allow themselves to be directed by the rules of fair play, in other words, by the degree to which their confrontation is kept orderly by an institutional framework. It is the duty of the presiding officer to enforce the rules and orders of the assembly without debate or delay.