Games Theory in International Relations

2695 Words Oct 31st, 2010 11 Pages
GAMES THEORY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

1.0 INTRODUCTION

The field of game theory came into being with Émile Borel 's researches in his 1938 book ‘Applications aux Jeux des Hazard’, and was followed by the 1944 book ‘Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour’ by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern. This theory was developed extensively in the 1950s by many scholars. Game theory was later explicitly applied to biology in the 1970s, although similar developments go back at least as far as the 1930s.

Game theory is a branch of applied mathematics that is used in the social sciences, most notably in economics, as well as in biology. It is also used in engineering, political science, international relations, computer science, and
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They include the player/decision maker, strategies, rules and pay off.

3.1 Player/Decision Makers. These are parties involved in competitive or cooperative situation. These parties could be nations, multinational corporations or even regional blocs.

3.2 Strategies. These are the plan(s) by state actors designed to achieve a particular long term aim. It could be aimed at pursuing their own interests at the expense of others leading to conflict or competition.

3.3 Rules. These are the regulations or principles governing conduct or procedure within a particular area of activity amongst players. It is expected that players must coordinate their potential strategies within the rules when pursuing their potential payoffs.

3.4 Pay off/Outcomes. These are result(s) of particular choices made by players at a given point in the game/situation.

4.0 TYPES OF GAMES

There are various types of games based on their classification. They are the cooperative or non-cooperative, symmetric, zero sum, one player, many player and sequential games.

4.1 Cooperative or non-cooperative. A game is cooperative if the players are able to form binding commitments. For instance the legal system requires them to adhere to their promises. In non-cooperative games this is not possible. Often it is assumed that communication among players is allowed in cooperative games, but not in non-cooperative ones. This classification on two
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