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Game Theory, Diplomatic History and Security Studies$
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Frank C. Zagare

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198831587

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198831587.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 July 2021

Game Theory and Security Studies

Game Theory and Security Studies

(p.7) 1 Game Theory and Security Studies
Game Theory, Diplomatic History and Security Studies

Frank C. Zagare

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the basic assumptions of game theory and illustrates its major concepts, using examples drawn from the security studies literature. An arms race game is used as an example of a strategic form game, illustrating the meaning of an equilibrium outcome and the definition of a dominant strategy. Backward induction and the definition of subgame perfection are explained in the context of an extensive form game that features threats. Nash equilibrium and the Bayesian equilibrium are discussed, and a short review of the many applications of game theory in international politics is provided. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of the usefulness of game theory in generating insights about deterrence.

Keywords:   game theory, Nash equilibrium, backward induction, extensive form game, strategic form game, subgame perfection, Bayesian equilibrium

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