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Game Theory and International Relations

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Kate O'Shannessy

on 2 October 2013

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Transcript of Game Theory and International Relations

The Game Theory and International Relations
To what extent can game theory explain the knowledge acquired in international relations?
To what extent can game theory explain the knowledge required to make national policy decisions?
To what extent can different ways of knowing influence international relations?
By: Kate O'Shannessy and Chang Hwan Choi
Real-Life Example
Game Theory Fundamentals
Human Sciences
Litmus Test
Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979
Nuclear energy programme
September 13th, 2013, Press TV Article
President Hassan Rouhani
Wants illegal sanctions lifted
Attached to our tribe
Stalemate between United States and Iran
UN Security Council - 59% increase in aid from U.S.
Intergroup Emotions Theory (IET)
Realists - fear
Institutionalists - trust
Marxists - greed
Degree of subjectivity
Survival in international system
Maximize power
Kantian principles
Media distorted
Difference between Iran and U.S. perceptions of each other
Perceptual dispositions and opinions
Chinese government isolationist policy
Human behaviour connections to fiction
Garden of Eden
Hard to determine the "right" interpretation
Strategic choices of characters and plot construction
Function and existence of morals
"Nice" behaviour is in long-term interests
Maximizing self-benefits
Help determine what is wrong and right
Study of strategic interdependence
Making decisions based upon how the consequences and actions relate to each other
Relies heavily on assumptions
Sensible assumptions give way to reliable conclusions
The Prisoner's Dilemma
The Prisoner's Dilemma
2 suspects arrested while robbing a bank
Cops only have evidence for trespassing
Need at least 1 of the suspects to rat out the other to charge for the bigger crime
Each are given a separate deal (suspects can't communicate with each other and didn't know conditions beforehand)
Only stable equilibrium: Defect-Defect
We live in a highly globalized society
196 sovereign states, 193 UN members
Each government must make choices representing their nations
Each decision results in different amounts of "utility"
All countries are strategically interdependent
Governments today are aware of this
Existence of groups like NSA
Utilitarian ethics is helpful for game theory conceptualization
Governments weigh pros and cons of every decision
Game theory set up helps for comparison between national policy decisions
Game theory is mathematical at its core, so decisions are based upon rational and logical choices
Game theory model still problematic
Conclusions reached are no more than useful fictions
Game theory is applied based upon assumptions
Establishes a model based on these assumptions
Impossible to take into account all factors of a real life situation
In reason (as a way of knowing) there are "valid yet not sound" conclusions
Utilitarian ethics does not take into consideration feelings and emotions
Too materialistic and concrete
Non-tangible components of humanity are not considered
May bring into question government's "humanity" and true care for people
Human sciences deeply tied with game theory
Humans are different from other animals in the way we make decisions
Game theory studies basis for these decisions we make
Sociology and psychology
Shows "mental game theory" within the minds of each person
Rational self interest
To what extent can game theory explain the knowledge acquired in international relations?
Can explain rational components and all possible decisions that can be made
Does not take into account all existing factors; makes a limited amount of assumptions
Does not fully encompass the "human" side of the matters
Full transcript