Department of Political Science

PSC 285 Strategy and Politics

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Old Political Science Field: Positive Theory

This course is archived. It will not be offered again.

James Johnson
Fall 1999

Course Syllabus

The fundamental assumption of this course is that in most important political and social settings the ability of any actor to achieve her objectives is dependent on what she expects other relevant actors to do. This sort of interdependency is the defining feature of strategic interaction. We examine the implications of this basic assumption for a range of important political questions. To this end we focus on a range of concrete examples and explore them with sets of analytical models - drawn mostly from game theory and social choice theory. While the models necessarily are abstract and so are formulated in symbols, this is not a course in mathematics, and NO special mathematical knowledge is needed for this course. Instead, all that is presupposed is a willingness to address analytical concepts head on.