International Relations is a vibrant field of significant growth and change. This book guides students through the complexities of over 40 central concepts and core theories, relating them at all times to contemporary issues and debates.

Each concept is divided into five sections to allow rapid familiarization with the topic and provide signposts for further exploration:

Core questions to address; Definition; Theoretical perspectives; Empirical problems; Core reading and useful websites

In addition the major theories are covered by six-part entries that give a 360 degree view of the strengths, weaknesses, applications and methodologies of each one:

An introduction to the core questions; Overview and background; Methodologies; Empirical application; Central criticism; Core reading and useful websites

Clear and highly readable, Key Concepts in International Relations is an essential guide for students on politics and international relations courses.

Game Theory

Game theory

1. Core Questions Addressed

  • What are the most important components of game theory?
  • Why might game theory be useful for the social sciences in general and International Relations specifically?
  • What are the main cooperation problems as identified by game theory?

2. Definitions

Originating in mathematics, game theory has been applied to the social sciences since John Von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern's 1944 classic Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. It provides a formal modelling approach for so-called ‘problematic social situations’ in that it depicts strategic choices of and interaction between agents, or players as they are referred to in game theory (Colman 1982). Those players, being rational, seek to maximize their benefit within a situation while considering the interaction of their own strategies with those the other ...

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