POL41660 Principles of Int. Politics

Academic Year 2019/2020

This course aims to explore topics in international politics from a rationalist perspective using game theory and formal modelling to provide insight into the strategic choices faced by actors in different international political settings. Fundamental to this undertaking is understanding the strategic incentives faced by actors in different situations through the use of formal rationalist models and games from game theory. We will first set out a rationalist framework in which political leaders are motivated to fulfil their preferences for power and policy, but face strategic challenges and trade offs in doing so. Once the basic set of concepts and tools making up a rationalist perspective on international politics has been outlined, we will then apply this framework to a multitude of topics in international politics, including the causes and consequences of war and peace, the role of international organisations, the determinants of international negotiations, and the interplay between domestic and international concerns for political actors situated in both realms.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course students will be able to:

- Examine international politics using the tools offered by game theory and formal modelling.
- Think about the strategic interactions between actors in international politics in a formalised way using mathematical models and constructs.
- Explain how the structure of different situations in international politics affect outcomes.
- Analyse international politics using different game theoretical approaches.
- Discuss different areas of international politics in an informed and critical way.
- Explain key concepts from the rationalist approach to international politics to others both verbally and in writing.
- Discuss the current and future challenges to the international order in light of the theories discussed throughout the course.

Student Effort Hours: 
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Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

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Module Requisites and Incompatibles
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Assessment Strategy  
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Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.  

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