“can we all get along?”

via the treasure-trove that is the race/history/evolution notes blog, newly published researchreal research on actual humans — showing that more policing is required in vibrant diverse societies.

a picture (or a chart) is worth a thousand words:

“Figure 1. Testing predictions of evolutionary policing theory with data from human societies. – Significant correlations (indicated by trend lines) between: (a) the per capita crime rate and the similarity index; (b) the policing effort (per capita investment into policing) and the similarity index…. Each data point represents one out of the 26 cantons of Switzerland.”

his ‘similarity index’ = “combined data on community size (i.e. number of citizens) and proportion of foreigners.”

his conclusions:

“The first finding, showing that crime rates were lower in societies with high similarity indexes, suggests that similarity among citizens can be considered analogous to genetic relatedness as used in Hamilton’s rule. Specifically, it seems that high similarity, analogous to high genetic relatedness, aligns the interest of individuals in a group and thereby promotes cooperative self-restraint even in the absence of policing…. The second finding, showing that policing efforts were highest in societies with low similarity indexes, conforms with policing theory because it shows that disproportionally large investments into policing are required to enforce cooperation under conditions where interests among individuals diverge most.”

then the researcher demurs a bit:

“[S]imilarity might have served as a cue for genetic relatedness in the past when self-restraint probably provided indirect benefits due to interactions mostly taking place among related individuals. Although in modern human societies relatedness is actually often low, people might still respond to these cues, irrespective of the adaptive consequences.”

oh, poppycock! relatedness may be low in modern societies like switzerland; but the point is that the swiss (yeah, i know there are a couple of different kinds of swiss) are more like each other genetically than they are to individuals from other populations. here they are right here [click on chart for LARGER version – source]:

sure, they overlap with some of the germans and some of the french — that ain’t surprising. but they don’t overlap with any of the more northern populations of europe — not really with the italians, either — and not with any of the slavic populations.

and i’m sure the swiss are really not related to some of their more recent immigrant populations, e.g. tamils from sri lanka. with those degrees of unrelatedness, its not surprising that some swiss cantons need a lot more policing than others.

read the whole thing here: A Test of Evolutionary Policing Theory with Data from Human Societies

see also: E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century

update 09/12: see also more on policing expenses in a diverse society

(note: comments do not require an email. swiss chicks misses!)

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5 Comments

  1. I can’t get over how much that chart looks like North America. There’s a Hudson’s Bay and even a chain of Aleutians. No Florida.

    It cracks me up that someone would think the Swiss are super-diverse. Because the levels of garlic in the sausage varies slightly from Canton to Canton.

    Reply

  2. @olave – “It cracks me up that someone would think the Swiss are super-diverse.”

    well, i think where the confusion comes in is that he says the relatedness is low in modern switzerland — and yes, it is, in the sense that the swiss are not so inbred. but that doesn’t mean that they’re suddenly more genetically related to the tamils in some way. the swiss people’s relatedness to tamils is still pretty d*mn far away even though they (the swiss) don’t really marry their cousins any more.

    there’s relatedness and there’s relatedness, if you see what i mean.

    Reply

  3. Okay, modern Switzerland isn’t classic Switzerland. Acknowledged.

    Still, I think the whole “diversity increases policing needs” may break down when certain combinations come up. Which needs more police:
    (A) a community that is 50% Hausa and 50% Igbo, or
    (B) a community that is 33% Hausa, 33% Igbo, and 33% Norwegians?

    See what I mean? (A) might be a bad example because the Hausa and Igbo might together have a low similarity index. In that case replace them with a group that is 100% Hausa.

    Is diversity the problem or is r-selection, low IQ, low impulse control, etc. the problem? I think it would be easier to keep the peace among a group of Inuits, Chinese, and Italians than it would be to keep the peace among all the direct descendants of Shaka Zulu, who are by definition pretty closely related.

    Reply

  4. @olave – “I think it would be easier to keep the peace among a group of Inuits, Chinese, and Italians than it would be to keep the peace among all the direct descendants of Shaka Zulu, who are by definition pretty closely related.”

    i almost agree with you. i would rephrase it as: “it would be easier to keep the peace among a group of inuits, chinese, and italians than it would be to keep the peace among a group of igbo, zulu and australian aborigines.”

    presumably there’d be more policing required amongst the zulu versus the japanese — but i think all the direct descendants of shaka zulu together would probably not be all that disastrous since it would be in every zulu individual’s interests that their fellow zulu “cousins” should do well in life. it’s when you throw “others” in the mix that things start to get nasty.

    of course, if the zulus inbreed (no idea) and are tribal, then all bets are off.

    Reply

  5. “Is diversity the problem or is r-selection, low IQ, low impulse control, etc. the problem?”

    If we had our old homogenous nations back then we could conduct volunteer experiments on little off-shore isands to find out. Then after we’d found out if diversity on its own increased conflict and reduced trust and co-operation we could base our immigration policies on that knowledge.

    Reply

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