Political Game Theory

Course Description

Academic degree: Bachelor's /Undergraduate/ degree*
Master degree
* No prior academic knowledge is important for understanding the subject but a "precocious" way of thinking                              

In our everyday life we often meet the problem how individual and collective interests are in conflict. For example, when we take a drive to a traffic jam in rush hours, and thus we cause a waste of time to the others than that of our own gain. When we decide how to behave, we take into account how other players behave, not only because we care about other people but because it affects what we get out of the interaction. Game theory is a systematic study of this strategic interaction. This course is an introduction to game theory, the study of strategic behaviour among parties having opposed, similar or mixed interests. It presents the basic concepts and analytical tools of elementary game theory in a way that allows the student to apply them in real life situations. Strategic interactions are present everywhere, in computer science, economics, politics, law, and at the end of the day we don’t make decisions in a vacuum, we live in society. The goal of the course is to give an insight into the formal ways of thinking about social mechanisms and interactions. At the end of the course 

There are no formal prerequisites for the course (we will apply a computer program for this purpose), but some aptitude for logical reasoning and basic maths are recommended.


Below, I list the main topics to be covered during the semester. 

I. Game Theory as a method to explore social situations

II. Games and Decisions

III. How to Solve Games?

***  Midterm Exam ***

IV. Conflicts

V. Coordination Mechanisms

VI. Cooperative Games

VII. Negotiations

Educational Resources

Methodology  József Zoltán Málik: Political Game Theory. Part I: Methodology. Budapest: ELTE, 2013. (in pdf version)

Applications  József Zoltán Málik: Political Game Theory. Part II: Games and Society. Budapest: ELTE, 2014. (in pdf version)
Online Game Problem-Solver: click here.


This course is a part of the ERASMUS+ Program at Faculty of Law,
Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest
Click here for getting essential educational infos

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