Formal Modelling and Political Analysis II (POLS 535)

2019 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Political Science(POLS)
Özge Kemahlıoğlu,
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Doctoral, Master
Formal lecture,Interactive lecture
Interactive,Communicative,Task based learning
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This course builds on POLS 534 and aims to expose the students to recent applications of formal analysis in various fields of political science. Assuming a sound understanding of basic formal tools of analysis examplary articles focusing on selected topics in comparative politics, international relations and social choice are discussed and various extensions are opened for discussion.


There are two goals of this course: One is to prepare you to think about your own theoretical questions with formal models. The second is to familiarize you with game theoretic models in the field of political science.

In order to achieve these goals, we will cover (i) selected chapters of McCarty and Meirowitz and (ii) some political science papers that use formal models. The chapters will be on social choice, cooperative and non-cooperative bargaining, and games with incomplete information. I tried to choose papers that cover interesting topics (such as ethnicity, civil conflict, media capture, and the EU) and that use tools that we learned or will learn in the first part of the course.

This course assumes prior knowledge of basic game theoretical tools (such as those taught in POLS 534 or any other comparable course). You will need to know about concepts such as rationality, domination, Nash equilibrium, or subgame perfect equilibrium but you do not need to know about games of incomplete information.


At the end of the course, students are expected to
-apply advanced game theory concepts to political science
-understand almost all game theory and formal modeling applications in political science
-develop their own formal model and apply to a question of their own interest


1. Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 4

2. Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 4

3. Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 4

4. Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 4

5. Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 3

6. Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 4

7. Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 3

8. Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 3

9. Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 2

10. Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. 3

11. Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 2

12. Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 2

13. Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 2

14. Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 2

15. Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 2

16. Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 2

1. Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 5

2. Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 2

3. Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 4

4. Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 3

5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 3

6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 4

1. Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 5

2. Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 5

3. Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 5

1. Design and model engineering systems and processes and solve engineering problems with an innovative approach.

2. Establish experimental setups, conduct experiments and/or simulations.

3. Analytically acquire and interpret data.

1. Construct reasoned arguments, synthesize relevant information, and critically analyze subject material. 5

2. Read and understand articles published in academic economics journals. 3

3. Come up with research questions about economic issues. 2

4. Construct a well-organized logical argument with clearly stated assumptions and hypotheses and, if necessary, be able to test or support it with relevant data. 5

1. Begin to grasp historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics. 3

1. Understand the policy-making process in the contemporary world.

2. Contribute to the design of public policy using a multidisciplinary perspective in specific policy areas.

3. Develop ability to evaluate the impact of public policy.

1. Establish a strong theoretical background in several of a broad range of subjects related to the discipline, such as manufacturing processes, service systems design and operation, production planning and control, modeling and optimization, stochastics, statistics.

2. Develop novel modeling and / or analytical solution strategies for problems in integrated production and service systems involving human capital, materials, information, equipment, and energy, also using an interdisciplinary approach whenever appropriate.

3. Implement solution strategies on a computer platform for decision-support purposes by employing effective computational and experimental tools.

4. Acquire skills to independently explore and tackle problems related to the discipline that were not encountered previously. Develop appropriate modeling, solution, implementation strategies, and assess the quality of the outcome.


  Percentage (%)
Term-Paper 30
Participation 10
Presentation 20
Homework 40



McCarthy, Nolan and Adam Meirowitz (2007) Political Game Theory: An Introduction. (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.)


*Acemoglu, D., Robinson, JA, Santos, R. (2010), ?The Monopoly of Violence: Evidence from Columbia?.

Baron, David P. and John A. Ferejohn. (1989) ?Bargaining in Legislatures.? American Political Science Review 89: 1181-1206

Berrebi, Klor (2006), ?On terrorism and electoral outcomes: theory and evidence from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50, 899-927.

*Besley, T. and Prat, A. (2006), ?Handcuffs for the grabbing hand? Media capture and government accountability??, American Economic Review, 96:3, 720-736.

Esteban J, Mayoral, Ray (2012), ?Ethnicity and Conflict: Theory and Facts?, Science, 336, 858-865.

*Esteban, Ray (2001), ?Collective action and the group size paradox?, American Political Science review, 95:3, 663-673.

*Fearon, James D. and David D. Laitin. (1996) ?Explaining Interethnic Cooperation.? American Political Science Review 90(4): 715-735.

*Fearon (2004), ?Why do some civil wars last so much longer than others??, Journal of Peace Research, 41:3, 275-301.

Kıbrıs, A and Muftuler-Bac, M (2011), ?The accession games: a comparison of three limited-information negotiation designs? International Studies Perspectives, 12, 399-427.

Kibris, Ozgur. 2010. ?Cooperative Game Theory Approaches to Negotiation? in Handbook of Group Decision and Negotiation. eds. Marc Kilgour and Colin Eden.

*Kydd and Walter (2002), ?Sabotaging the peace: the politics of extremist violence?, International Organization, 56:2, 263-296.

*Leventoglu, B. and Tarar A. (2005), ?Prenegotiation public commitment in domestic and international bargaining?, American Political Science Review, 99:3, 419-434.

*Mesquita and Dickson (2007), ?The propaganda of the deed: terrorism counterterrorism, and mobilization?, American Journal of Political Science, 51:2, 364-381.

Powell (2002), ?Bargaining theory and international conflict?, Annual Review of Political Science, 5:1, 30-61.

*Powell (2004), ?Bargaining and learning while fighting?, American Journal of Political Science, 48:2, 344-361.

*Slantchev (2003), ?The power to hurt: costly conflict with completely informed states?, American Political Science Review, 97:1, 123-134.

Schneider and Cederman (1994), ?The change of tide in political cooperation: a limited information model of European integration?, International Organization, 48:4, 633-662.

Spence, Michael. 1973 ?Job Market Signaling.? The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 87(3): 355-374.

Yildirim, Huseyin. ?Distribution of Surplus in Sequential Bargaining with Endogenous Recognition,? Public Choice, 142 (2010), pp. 41-57.