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Foreign Affair is Just a Game

All countries deal with foreign affairs in different ways. Many political scientists have different views on how to deal with other countries, but in the end it’s all just a game. Game theory can be a basic solution to dealing with other countries. Setting up a basic matrix and looking at the possible outcomes from either cooperating or betraying a country can lead countries to a proper course of action. After hearing about Game Theory in class, I read an article that talked about the relationship of Pakistan and India ( This Article starts off just describing the situation between India and Pakistan and how it has developed and changed over the years, but it also relates it to a simple Game theory model.

In our most recent class we talked about Game Theory and the Prisoner’s dilemma. This article relates India and Pakistan’s relationship to a simple Prisoner’s dilemma. Whether or not the two countries either cooperate or betray each other are the two actions and they both have possible outcomes based on the other’s response. However, something this article talks about that we didn’t in class is what to do in a series Prisoner’s dilemma. According to studies and experiments done the proper strategy is to first cooperate. Then whenever your foe cooperates you cooperate in the next round of the game, and every time they betray you betray in the next round of the game. This is the proper technique to take in a series of games. This ‘tit for tat’ method is also the name of the article. This is what India and Pakistan have been doing and by looking at other countries foreign affairs you can see many of them follow this same technique when dealing with other countries. Game theory takes an important role in many different areas of real life and can be used in very real situations such as this.


Side-Note: I didn’t know if I could write a whole blog post on this, but on a side note for anyone who knows about wolfram alpha there is a very cool feature you can use. By making an account on the website ( you can link it to your facebook and then type “facebook report” into the search box(this is also works for other people just type “facebook report [Account ID #]”). By doing this though it allows you to see all the different facts about your facebook account including your own personal Social Network based off your facebook friends. It also gives you different facts on your social network and how certain people connect or disconnect your facebook to other people. This is a cool feature that is heavily related to this class and can also be an interesting thing to take a look at.


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