The Game Theory

Topics: Cuban Missile Crisis, Soviet Union, Cold War Pages: 6 (2190 words) Published: March 10, 2013
The Game Theory

In this essay, I am going to write about international cases in which you can apply the different examples of the game theory. First of all I will explain what the game theory is and give a few demonstrations of it. Second of all, I will explain the specific case in which I decided to exemplify the game theory. Finally, I will explain or vindicate how the theory is applied to a specific case of international importance. In the next paragraph, I will explain what game theory is and give a few examples of it.

What is the game theory? Well the game theory is a method of studying in a strategic point of view decision making. This theory is very well known and it is mainly used in, political sciences, psychology, biology and economics. “I think game theory creates ideas that are important in solving and approaching conflict in general.” (Robert Aumann). The theory of games gives us a very interesting vision about the nature of international negotiations and the ability in which cooperation can coexist with the conflict. This theory is usually made up of ingenious rational decision makers. There are basically two main kinds of games in this theory. One emphasizes the potential to confront or withstand while the other one the potential of cooperation. I will first address the zero-sum game, which is structured in a way in which what a side gains, the other side automatically loses. Such that one side gains unequivocally an equal net loss of the other side, in other words the conflict is absolute. In a diplomatic ambit, this would be a dispute over territory in which both States want the same portion of land. Obviously both States can’t exercise sovereignty over it, although it could be possible to change the sum-zero game to a non zero-sum game or variable sum-game.

A variable sum-game consists in a way that both sides can gain something simultaneously, even though a side can gain a greater benefit than the other. If both sides decide to share the land this would give us a result of a positive sum, win-win situation. In the foreign relations field most of the situations are more likely to be accordant with the variable sum-game. The first example I will portray about the game theory is the “chicken game”. The chicken game consists in which two contenders drive their vehicles, one in front of the other, in a one way road. The point of the game is that they both drive rapidly towards each other and the first who a deviate is considered as the chicken or loser. Each player has two options, to keep in the track or deviate. The problem is that both of them don’t know what the other contender will do, so none of them is able to control the result of the game. Both sides or players would get benefits of cooperation, this benefit consists that they both avoided the collision and destruction that could’ve happened. Winning depends on how much the contender is willing to risk. This example can be portrayed in an international conflict involving nuclear or war dangers.

Another example is the prisoners’ dilemma, this game example assumes that two persons where found together in a crime scene and get arrested because both seem suspicious. They both are assumed to be guilty of crime and are submitted separately to interrogation measures. The two of them are given the opportunity confess what happened and get a lighter sentence or remain silent and gain the maximum sentence. The tricky part is that both prisoners are locked in separate rooms and have no idea if their partner will rattle or remain silent. They can’t trust what decision their partner will take so they definitely can’t control the situation. They have a lot to gain or lose in this game. Well, assuming that they rattle each other they would get a medium sentence; if they both remain quiet they will gain the minimum sentence. But the nerve racking part is if one rattles and the other one remains silent, one will go away...
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