Simulating Collective Agency. Emergence and Stability of Autonomy in Horizontal Collective Actors (SColA)

The project analyzes mechanisms underlying the emergence and stability of autonomy in horizontal collective actors. In this context, it pursues two goals, namely (i) to investigate the role of shared beliefs and intentions for the emergence of horizontal collective actors and (ii) to study how these shared attitudes contribute to the emergence and stability of autonomy in such actors.

 

It does so through the study of the repeated and evolutionary dynamics of so-called ‘team reasoning’ (Bacharach, 2006). Team reasoning is an extension of classical non-cooperative game theory in which the players can reason either individually or as a team member, i.e. as members of a collective actor. In the latter case, they adopt the preexisting team objectives and try to identify what they should do as team members while being uncertain of the team affiliation of the others.

 

By means of computer simulations, we will be able to identify conditions – for example in terms of payoff variation, framing, and mutual belief - that foster the emergence and stability of team reasoning and thus of autonomous horizontal structured collective actors. As such, the project will, in its development and simulation phases, provide a theoretical foundation for the concept of autonomy in such actors.

 

The SColA-project is embedded in a lively research community centered around a cluster of six DFG-funded research projects on collective agency, at the University of Bamberg. In that context, the theoretical analysis in SColA will be brought to bear on findings in the other projects, by calibrating the models’ parameters to the data obtained in those projects.

        Our Team       

Prof. Dr. Johannes Marx

Project Leader

Johannes Marx has studied Political Science, Philosophy and Rights and did his PhD in Political Theory. He holds the Chair for Political Theory at the University of Bamberg and is also Director of the Bamberg Institute of Political Science. He currently works on Political Epistemology, Epistemic Justifications of Democracy, Agent-based-Modeling, Rational Choice Theories, Contractualism, and on the emergence of group beliefs and group agency. To study those phenomena he has been using methods from decision and game theory, and well as agent-based modeling.

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Leyla Kibar

Predoctoral Researcher

After graduating from the University of Heidelberg in Mathematics and Philosophy, Leyla Kibar studied mathematical Logic at the Institute of Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) in Amsterdam. She is soon finishing her Master's with a thesis about the iteration of goal-based voting. Her main interests are to keep expanding her knowledge and developing new skills, preferably while researching in Game Theory and Collective Decision-Making.

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Prof. Dr. Olivier Roy

Project Leader

Olivier Roy has studied philosophy and did his PhD in logic. He currently works on knowledge, belief, and rationality in strategic interaction, on theories of norms and rights, as well as on group beliefs and group agency. To study those phenomena he has been using methods from philosophical logic, decision and game theory, and well as computational modeling.

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Maximilian Noichl

Predoctoral Researcher

Maximilian Noichl has studied history and philosophy of science as well as psychology at the University of Vienna. His work is focused on the implementation of computational tools that aid in the investigation of philosophical questions. Here he is particularly interested in collective agency, group dynamics in the history of ideas, and the adoption and interdisciplinary transfer of computational modeling and visualization-practices in the sciences.

 

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