Security Dilemma the Collective Action Problem and the Nash Equilibrium.

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  • Topic: Prisoner's dilemma, Nash equilibrium, Game theory
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  • Published : March 10, 2012
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Security Dilemma the Collective Action Problem and the Nash Equilibrium.

Criticism of the United Nations highlight the lack of power it has and its reliance on superpowers for legitimacy. The use by states of the UN is conditional on whether it serves state self-interest and whether the value of participating outweighs the cost (Abbott and Snidal 2005: 27). This brings into question why states would allow the UN to impose International laws and Norms that erode state sovereignty and how this increases international peace and security. It is seemingly irrational that despite the issue of national sovereignty and individual grievances states are extremely hesitant to leave the United Nations (Diehl 2005:4). The importance of the UN in international peace and security can be explained by the dominance of the ‘security dilemma’ and the connection between realism, rational choice theory and the Nash equilibrium.

The security dilemma is the international predicament that can best be categorized as aiming to reduce the uncertainty of an anarchistic world order (Booth and Wheeler 2009:132). The uncertainty of states actions has led some realist theorists to attempt to find the optimum strategy for mitigating external threats and thus secure its own interests.There are two levels to the security dilemma; the dilemma of interpretation which is attempting to discover what other nations are doing behind closed doors, and the dilemma of response; how to respond when other nations act. (strat 135) This has created the ‘other minds problem’, attempting to get inside the minds of others in an effort to understand and predict their intentions and actions.(strat136) The importance of the security dilemma in international politics has been present for centuries and is argued by many to be the nucleus of security studies hitherto now. (strat137) The entire international system is driven by realism, by state fear, fear of attack, fear of losing strategic position, fear of...
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