World Politics

Research Article

Experimental Games and Bargaining Theory

T. C. Schellinga1

a1 Harvard University

Games have been used in the study of international politics; if they were not so demanding of time and energy, they would probably be used more. A Berlin crisis, or a busy day in the life of the United Nations, lends itself to this procedure. Participants usually represent “countries” and they may be encouraged to play the “role” of the country, acting as they believe the country would act, or they may be encouraged to behave in the game as they believe the country ought to behave in its own interest. The game may be organized for research, the participants being scholars and policy analysts; or it may be organized as training, to give students vicarious experience in the complexities of international politics.

Thomas C. Schelling is Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a faculty member of Harvard's Center for International Affairs. He recendy spent a year with The RAND Corporation and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the U.S. Air Force. The author of The Strategy of Conflict (1960) and Strategy and Arms Control (1961), he is currently working in the fields of military strategy, arms control, and theory of bargaining.