Social Dilemmas

The International Conference on Social Dilemmas (ICSD) brings together junior and world-leading scholars on social dilemmas from all over the world. Social dilemmas are situations in which self-interest is at odds with collective interests (for more information, see https://socialdilemma.com/). Some of the most pressing issues of our times can be thought of as social dilemmas, such as mitigating climate change, reducing intergroup conflict, or curbing the spread of infectious diseases.

Researchers from various disciplines work on better understanding and solving social dilemmas, including biologists, economists, psychologists, sociologists, and many more. This includes research on the development, scope, and explanation of cooperation in humans and other species, interventions to promote prosocial behaviour, as well as its consequences for various real-life situations (e.g., climate change, intra- and intergroup conflict, interpersonal relations). The applied methods are diverse, e.g., online, lab, and field experimental studies as well as simulation studies.


ICSD is a biennial conference taking place since 1984. The last meetings have been held in Sedona/USA (2019), Taormina/Italy (2017), and Hong Kong (2015). In recent years, it has been a medium-sized event with 100-200 participants.

ICSD 2021

ICSD 2021 will be held in Copenhagen/Denmark. To foster community building, we plan to have a single-track presentation format and a dedicated social programme. Further, to encourage submissions by junior scholars, we will have reduced conference fees for junior scholars. Last but not least, we plan to organize the conference in an environmentally friendly manner (e.g., reducing CO2 emissions as much as possible).

Note on COVID-19: We are planning to have a classic ‘offline‘ conference. Depending on the COVID-19 situation and potential restrictions around travel, we will also offer online participation in a hybrid format. The final decision of whether the conference will be held (and, if so, how) will be made in early spring 2021 (after abstract submission, but before registration). Even in case you already have a strong preference for participating only either online or offline, please still submit an abstract. We will survey all presenting authors at a later stage about their preferences.


ICSD is supported by the Carlsberg Foundation and the University of Copenhagen.

The Carlsberg Foundation is a industrial foundation that supports basic scientific research within the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities conducted by Danish researchers and international researchers connected to Danish research environments. The funds for awards mainly come from the profits of Carlsberg A/S, in which the Carlsberg Foundation has a controlling interest. The Carlsberg Foundation was founded by Brewer J.C. Jacobsen in 1876.

The University of Copenhagen is the largest university in Denmark with almost 40,000 students. Founded in 1479, it is also the second-oldest university in Scandinavia, and ranks as one of the top universities in Europe.

Carlsberg Foundation
University of Copenhagen