Compatibility and Synergy

Beyond mere compatibility, integrating the NLC and a CAS perspective provides a full account of norm emergence and evolution. The NLC provides a macroanalytic structure for explaining norm dynamics, and the insights of complexity theory provide a microagentic process to bring the NLC to life. In specifying the connection between actors and norms, complex adaptation facilitates an updating of the NLC and mutual constitution.

Moving from agents to structures, CAS provides a model of agent action. Internal rule models represent agents' subjective understandings of their context and they drive agent behavior. Emergence is the process through which agent actions and interactions combine to alter social structures. Universal participation emerged through a process of entrepreneurship and subsequent changes in states' internal rule models and behavior.

Moving from structures to agents, CAS provides a model of the connections between social norms and agents. Internal rule models are again crucial, as these rule models are subjective "pictures" of an agent's social context that are built through experience. Coevolution and evaluation are the mechanisms whereby changes in social context are translated into changes in internal understandings—structures constitute agents through coevolution and evaluation. As states came to understand universal participation they added it to their rule models. The resulting behavioral changes drove more and more states to adopt it. Further adaptation in the rule models brought about the evolution of universal participation into two variants.

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