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Game Theory and Resolving Peace Conflicts

Game Theory is something that is fundamentally not extremely complicated: Predicting certain outcomes based on the participants’ payoff. However, that simple idea can be applied to myriad aspects of the modern world. Whether it is estimating the outcome of political races, or testing the effects of zoning rules in Britain, or even helping settle divorces, game theory software can help model what results different approaches might yield. Currently, game theory software has not been made sophisticated enough to help end wars, or resolve peace conflicts, but in the future it is very possible. It would be very helpful for a nation, or group of people, to safely enter all of their information into a computer program, for┬áthe program to┬ásimply output what their best option is given the circumstances. An effective software that could end wars in this way would change the world as we know it.

This idea builds off of our study of game theory. It goes without saying that this potential software would take many intricate factors into account, and deal with more than only a one dimensional payoff like we discussed in class. But, as previously stated, the method of solving any issue between two countries in a conflict would fundamentally be no different than the method of solving whether a prisoner should confess to his and his friend’s crime or not. The software would, at some level, consider all of each nation’s strong or weak points and potential ways they could go about resolving the situation, and then rank the payoff of each route for each side of the conflict. For example, the attached article describes how the extent to which a nation “hits hard” represents how much that nation “values victory” (6). This could define a given nation’s approximate payoff if it wins the war. Perhaps there exists a nash equilibrium in this situation: a route that is in both of the nations’ best interests. If one of the nations involved in the conflict is very powerful, there might even be a dominant strategy it could take, in which the nation would not be substantially negatively impacted no matter what it decided to do. The bottom line is that a software of this nature, thought not easy to make, would be immensely helpful in attaining peace. Such a non-biased approach to any conflict is always a good one.

http://www.economist.com/node/21527025

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