The Company of Strangers

Paul Seabright's The Company of Strangers (2004, rev. 2010) is a study of the importance of trust in strangers in our everyday lives. Seabright challenges the assumption that humans exist in primarily competitive relations with each other, and points out instead that our everyday lives are dependent on the capacity to trust that others will act in predictable ways that sustain the institutions on which we all rely.

This underestimates the degree to which mutually sustaining behaviour is culturally coerced, and by what means, and it provides a weak account of anti-cooperative decision making.