17.881 / 17.882 Game Theory and Political Theory

Fall 2004

Sergeant concentrates at the All-Army Chess Championship.

Sergeant concentrates at the All-Army Chess Championship. (Army photo by Tim Hipps. Image courtesy of U.S. Army Web site: http://www.army.mil/.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete list of problem sets in the assignments section. In addition, the final exam is available in the exams section.

Course Description

Increasingly, political scientists are using game theory to analyze strategic interactions across many different settings. Each of the sub-fields, to differing degrees, has seen game theoretic concepts enter its vocabulary, and students entering the profession will need to understand the potential and limits of game theory. This course aims to give students an entry-level understanding of the basic concepts of game theory, and how these concepts have been applied to the study of political phenomena.

Because an important component of game theory in political science and political economy is the analysis of substantive political phenomena, we will cover illustrative examples each week in combination with methodological developments. The political and economic phenomena that we will examine include legislative rules, nuclear deterrence, electoral competition, and imperfect markets.

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Prof. James Snyder

Course Meeting Times

One session / week
2 hours / session

One session / week
1 hour / session


Undergraduate / Graduate