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Venkatesh Rao
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Hmm... I hadn't thought of international relations when I wrote the piece. I can't quite parse your last sentence (couple of typos in there somewhere?), but I think you are suggesting that international relations have more real/substantive moves that can be made, and therefore game theory applies more, correct? I can see why this is plausible. There is not much room for, say, Schelling-like brinkmanship in small retail bargaining (unless it is things like starting to take money out of your wallet...). But OTOH, countries DO have big grand narratives that inform their negotiating posture far more powerfully than rational concerns. Some bits make it into formally stated doctrine (known or unknown to the other side), but other bits are left to the individuals. I'd say the jury is still out on whether international relations conform better to narrative bargaining or game-theoretic. I'd suspect that in relatively symmetric situations, models like Axelrod's iterated prisoner's dilemma might work well, but when there is a big asymmetry, narrative models probably kick in. Interesting direction to explore. Venkat