Insights / culture

Cooperation & Discord


Cooperation requires active adjustment of policies to meet the demands of others; demands are a representation of shared interests and lack of alignment.

It may be possible to design a system that operates in a state of harmony, but it is unlikely to improve itself unless the parts of the system are allowed to align interests, and solve points of discord through active adjustment of policy.

From this absolute gem from college:

Cooperation is contrasted with discord; but is also distinguished from harmony. Cooperation, as compared to harmony, requires active attempts to adjust policies to meet the demands of others. That is, not only does it depend on shared interests, but it emerges from a pattern of discord or potential discord. Without discord, there would be no cooperation, only harmony. – Robert O. Keohane, After Hegemony

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