• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book brings an exciting and innovative new approach to the study of politics today. It introduces political bargaining, a process at the heart of all political and economic exchanges in contemporary society and the very essence of politics itself, to provide a new framework and fresh insights to modern political science. The authors trace the prevalence of bargaining processes in politics from the abstract level of individual human interaction and the `state of nature’ to the more concrete political or institutionalized level. They introduce students to theory -- the basic models of game theory, rational choice theory and positivist approaches; practice -- the practical manifestations of political b

A Bargained Social Contract
A bargained social contract
3.1 Introduction: Spontaneous and Intentional Origins of Social Order

How does social order evolve? Hobbes' thesis rests on the hypothesis that rational agents voluntarily agree to enter a social contract. Yet, the question as to how individuals in society overcome their tendency to behave selfishly was left unanswered. This chapter seeks to fill in the gap and looks at why people are willing to forgo immediate gain in return for an abstract social contract.

The conceptual approach of game theory in addressing this question derives from the premise that the evolution of social order must be explained in terms of equilibrium outcomes of recurrent social interactions (Schotter, 1981; Sugden, 1986; Taylor, 1987; Calvert, 1995; Sened, 1997). Sugden (1986: 5), for ...

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