Books et al.Social Science

Why the West is WEIRD

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Science  18 Sep 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6510, pp. 1438
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc6138

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Summary

As Joseph Henrich recounts in his new book, The WEIRDest People in the World, the Tajik civil war—which pitted clan against clan and, sometimes, neighbor against neighbor—resulted in a collapse of trust that made people more suspicious of nonrelatives. This trajectory is puzzling, as it contrasts sharply with political development in Western Europe. There, conflict and intergroup competition paved the way for strong and democratic states. So what accounts for the difference between these two groups?

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