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Chapter 2 - Hardwiring inside and outside People

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2023

Fathali M. Moghaddam
Affiliation:
Georgetown University
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Summary

Hardwiring inside individuals (almost exclusively in the brain) has been studied extensively in psychological science, but hardwiring outside individuals has received scant attention. Hardwiring outside individuals consists of the total ways of life of human beings, including the built environment, societal organization, and formal institutions, as well as informal culture, narratives, and all form of communications, leader–follower relations, and cultural carriers. As discussed in this chapter, this external hardwiring is already present when the individual comes into this world, and it continues (with some degree of change) after the individual has departed. Formal hardwiring such as blackletter law and constitutions often continue over centuries, with little change in key areas – for example, through originalist interpretations of constitutions. When revolutionary constitutions are introduced, there is often a huge gap between the aspirations of the constitution and the behavior of the population, which tends to continue as before. Cultural carriers are an important part of external hardwiring, sustaining continuity

Type
Chapter
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Political Plasticity
The Future of Democracy and Dictatorship
, pp. 12 - 22
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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