Political Science | Negotiation and Mediation
Y391 | 3950 | McLaughlin

How often do we hear people talk about “playing politics?”  When we
hear such things, are we to believe that politics is just a game?  In
many ways, politics can be understood as a game, but it is an
extraordinarily complex one—many different people must make many
different types of strategic decisions every single day, and many of
these decisions can have profound social and political consequences.
This course introduces students to the formal study of political
decisions and the strategies and dynamics of decision making.
Students will learn how to construct, analyze, and intelligently
apply simple models of social and political strategic interaction to
real world situations in the United States, other countries, and the
international arena.  The list of specific subjects to be covered is
flexible and may in large part be shaped by students’ interests.  The
course will be taught using a combination of lectures, discussions,
and in-class simulations of simple decision making environments.
Students in this class will not only hear about political decision
making – they will, on many occasions, have the opportunity to make
political decisions on their own.  They will, in other words, have
the opportunity to learn about political decision making by doing
it.   Assessment for the course will be based on class participation,
written assignments, a final examination, and the level of
performance during in-class simulations.