WiSe 12/13: (METH)Strategic Approaches to the Study of International Politics and Political Economy
Autumn Lockwood- Payton, Michal Parízek
This course is designed to introduce students to formal analysis as one of the key approaches to studying political phenomena. We will explore two groups of models: (1) spatial models of politics and ... read more
This course is designed to introduce students to formal analysis as one of the key approaches to studying political phenomena. We will explore two groups of models: (1) spatial models of politics and (2) game theory. Studying politics using such an approach will offer explanations for the strategic behavior of actors (states, political parties, politicians) and alternative ways of understanding and interpreting political outcomes.
This course sets out two important goals. The first is to familiarize students with strategic thinking in political science. To this end, students will be asked to complete some basic game theory exercises. The second goal is to apply this approach to the study of elections, crisis bargaining, global economic negotiations, arms control and deterrence, international trade, international cooperation, and other salient topics.
Participation in the class does not require a systematic mathematical background but it does require active interest in the material we cover and willingness to learn, as well as use, analytical tools and abstract reasoning. There is no single textbook assigned for the course but students may consult Kenneth A. Shepsle's Analyzing Politics (W. W. Norton & Company, 2nd edition, 2010) for an indicative overview of some of the topics covered.