Frank, S. A. 2009. Evolutionary foundations of cooperation and group cohesion. Pages 3-40 in Games, Groups, and the Global Good. S. A. Levin, ed. Springer-Verlag.
In biology, the evolution of increasingly cooperative groups has shaped the history of life. Genes collaborate in the control of cells; cells efficiently divide tasks to produce cohesive multicellular individuals; individual members of insect colonies cooperate in integrated societies. Biological cooperation provides a foundation on which to understand human behavior. Conceptually, the economics of efficient allocation and the game-like processes of strategy are well understood in biology; we find the same essential processes in many successful theories of human sociality. Historically, the trace of biological evolution informs in two ways. First, the evolutionary transformations in biological cooperation provide insight into how economic and strategic processes play out over time--a source of analogy that, when applied thoughtfully, aids analysis of human sociality. Second, humans arose from biological history--a factual account of the past that tells us much about the material basis of human behavior.