Game theory, political economy, and the evolving study of war and peace

Bruce Bueno De Mesquita

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


    James Russell and Quincy Wright suggested in the Review in 1933 that the danger of conflict could be diminished by looking within states to discern what contributes to the risk of war. Revolutions in game theory technology and political economy modeling are helping to advance those goals. The combination of non-cooperative game theory as an analytic tool and the assumptions of political economy models about leaders' domestic interests and incentives offer a different explanation of international relations from that suggested by realist theories and other state-centric viewpoints. Together with more macro-level theorizing we gain insights into what makes some polities more prone to international conflict than others. By adding the micro-level, game theoretic investigation of domestic factors to the analytic repertoire we have now supplemented the aspects of received wisdom that are consistent with the record of history with explanations for puzzling facts about conflict that no longer seem anomalous.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)637-642
    Number of pages6
    JournalAmerican Political Science Review
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Nov 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Political Science and International Relations


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