DynCoopNet-Dynamic Complexity of Cooperation-Based Self-Organizing Networks in the First Global Age
DynCoopNet is a CRP (Cooperative Research Project) of TECT (The Evolution of Cooperation and Trading), a program of EUROCORES (European Collaborative Research Scheme) , approved by the ESF (European Science Foundation) and founded by the following National Agencies: FCT - Portugal, MEC- Spain, NSF-USA.
DynCoopNet addresses the TECT program through an examination of the evolution of cooperation tying together the self-organizing commercial networks of the first global age (1400-1800). The CRP will produce new theoretical insights about cooperation in the context of the dynamic complex system of which these evolving networks were a part. Through a convergence of methods unusual in the historical social sciences, the CRP will reveal the mechanisms of cooperation that permitted merchants and others to establish and sustain these often long-distance trading networks. In the social science literature, it is often asserted that greater human cooperation in trading became possible with the increasing effectiveness of the State. However, these networks were characterized by a diffusion of authority and frequently by-passed the segmented political hierarchies characteristic of the period's governments. Focused archival research and an extensive review of published information will create shared databases with a sufficient variety and quantity of data about the neglected topic of cooperation during the first era of globalization to increase confidence in the CRP's analyses.