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Human Nature and Public Policy

An Evolutionary Approach

Authors: Somit, A., Peterson, S.

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About this book

Arguing for an evolutionary perspective, this book directly challenges the Standard Social Science Model (SSSM) on which public policy has often been based. The SSSM maintains that human behavior is solely the product of culture and learning. In sharp contrast, the Evolutionary Model (EM) holds that our behavior flows from the interaction between learning and culture, on the one hand, and biological factors-especially our evolutionary legacy-on the other. These different approaches to human behavior understandably lead to divergent conceptions of sound domestic and foreign policy. The SSSM views human behavior as essentially plastic and thus readily changed by governmental action. Disagreeing, the Evolutionary Model sees that malleability as seriously limited by our species' evolved propensity for aggression, status seeking, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and hierarchical social structures.

About the authors

ALBERT SOMIT is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University. He has been Executive Vice-President of the State University of New York at Buffalo and President of Southern Illinois University. One of the earliest pioneers in the field of biology and politics, he is the founder of the International Political Science Association's Research Committee on Biology and Politics.

STEVEN A. PETERSON is Director of the School of Public Affairs and Professor of Politics and Public Affairs at Penn State Harrisburg. His areas of research interest include American Politics, Public Policy, and the relationship of biology to politics. He is on the Council of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences and serves as Vice-President and Secretary of the International Political Science Association Research Committee on Biology and Politics.

DRS. SOMIT and PETERSON have co-authored or co-edited such volumes as Evolutionary Theory and the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2001), Research in Biopolitics (1996), The Dynamics of Evolution: The Punctuated Equilibrium Debate in the Natural and Social Sciences (1992), and, of course, their highly controversial Darwinism, Dominance, and Democracy (1997).

Reviews

'This book proposal looks good. A book that would show how evolutionary theory illuminates many areas of public policy would be a great advance in the social sciences. Such a book could become a standard textbook in public policy courses as representing a newly emerging biological stance on the social sciences'. - Larry Arnhart, Northern Illinois University


Table of contents (14 chapters)

Table of contents (14 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $54.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4039-8209-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4039-6116-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $69.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4039-6285-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $99.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-52640-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • This title is currently reprinting. You can pre-order your copy now.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Human Nature and Public Policy
Book Subtitle
An Evolutionary Approach
Authors
Copyright
2003
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4039-8209-4
DOI
10.1057/9781403982094
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4039-6116-7
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4039-6285-0
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-52640-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 266
Topics