Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Paper Session #219
A Behavioral and Biological Approach to the Design of Governance Models
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–11:25 AM
Area: OBM
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Francis Mechner (The Mechner Foundation)

A Behavioral and Biological Approach to the Design of Governance Models

Domain: Theory
FRANCIS MECHNER (The Mechner Foundation)

World history shows that autocratic governance models are usually detrimental to the interests of the governed, while representative models are prone to corruption and subversion. The digital revolution and the internet have now opened a window for applying behavioral science to the design of governance models that avoid these defects. Models for the governance of nations share a striking number of detailed design features with the biology of vertebrates. Among these are continuous distribution of vital resources, waste management, adaptation, monitoring external threats, preventing internal corruption, and providing redundancy for important functionalities. The governance model averts corruption by avoiding the creation of positions of power. Instead, ordinary citizens, employees of governmental departments and agencies, and corporations, having the closest contact with the relevant information, continuously identify governance issues requiring resolution. The functional core of the resulting governance system is a vast network of independent specialized councils that resolve issues continuously. These councils are staffed by rotating panels of certified councilors trained in the council’s area of specialization. Adversarial interests are represented by advocates, as in court proceedings. Issues traditionally resolved by power centers are instead resolved by such councils. The model lends itself to limited developmental testing of its components.




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