Robert Axelrod

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Robert Marshall Axelrod (born May 27, 1943 ) is an American political scientist . He is considered one of the most important representatives of the theory of rational decision ( rational choice theory ).


After studying mathematics , which Axelrod completed in 1964 at the University of Chicago as a Bachelor of Arts , he studied political science at Yale University ( Master of Arts 1966, PhD 1969). He served on the United States Department of Defense planning staff and intermittently at RAND Corporation . Axelrod taught at the Universities of Berkeley and Michigan . He is active in policy advice , including for the United Nations , the World Bank and the Pentagon . He has become particularly well known for its interdisciplinary scale conflict analysis and by him in the evolution of cooperation developed solution for the game-theoretic Prisoner's Dilemma in repeated games. Axelrod introduced the method of cognitive mapping into political science in order to capture the causal structures of political worldviews.

In 1985 he was admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 1986 to the National Academy of Sciences . Since 2004 he has been an elected member of the American Philosophical Society . In 1987 he was a MacArthur Fellow . For 2013 he was awarded the Skyttean Prize and in 2014 he received the National Medal of Science .


  • The evolution of cooperation . (Original title: The Evolution of Cooperation , 1984) translated by Werner Raub and Thomas Voss. Oldenbourg, Munich 1987. (7th edition, ibid. 2009, ISBN 978-3-486-59172-9 )
  • The Complexity of Cooperation, Princeton University Press 1997.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Arno Kohl: Domino Theory and American policy in Vietnam from 1954 to 1961. A case study on the role of models in international politics . Freiburg 2001, p. 10 ( online [PDF; 4.0 MB ; accessed on June 12, 2011] Inaugural dissertation at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg ).
  2. Member History: Robert Axelrod. American Philosophical Society, accessed April 13, 2018 (English, with short biography).