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