Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

William Furlong

Abstract

Game theory applied to political situations offers a unique approach to analyzing and understanding international relations. Yet the rigid structure that lends itself so well to mathematics is not practical in the real world. It lacks a built in mechanism for determining a player's preferences, which is a key part of an international "game" or situation. Strategic culture, another international relations theory, is quite the opposite. Critics claim it suffers from a lack of structure, but it captures the spirit of international actors and what makes them tick. This paper explores the idea of pairing the two otherwise unrelated theories to bolster both in the areas where they are lacking in order to provide a more complete understanding of international states' behavior and motivations.

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