Formal Modelling and Political Analysis I (POLS 534)

2020 Fall
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Political Science(POLS)
Özge Kemahlıoğlu,
Click here to view.
Doctoral, Master
Formal lecture,Interactive lecture
Interactive,Communicative,Task based learning
Click here to view.


This course is designed to provide an introduction to deductive theory and formal modelling. Topics covered include elementary decision theory, game theory and theory of social choice, with no mathematical prerequisites assumed expect high school algebra.


This course primarily aims to expose the students to just one view of the world that is shaped by the paradigm of rational choice. More specifically, we will focus on one part of this paradigm represented by game theoretic reasoning to resolve some long-standing questions of political science. Towards this objective not only the analytical basis of game theoretical reasoning will be introduced but also applications of this particular reasoning to basic problems of political inquiry in various modern branches of political literature will be introduced with an eye towards developing the methodological tools necessary to construct a formal model.


At the end of the course, the students are expected to
-understand basic game theory concepts
-apply basic game theory concepts to political science questions
-assess the applications of basic game theory concepts in the political science literature
-analyze politics from an analytical perspective


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 5

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. 5

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. 5

6. Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 5

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. 4

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. 4

9. Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 4

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. 5

11. Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 4

12. Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 4

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. 3

14. Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 4

15. Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 5

16. Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 4

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. 3

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. 5

5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 4

6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 5

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. 4

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. 4

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. Analyze current and persistent conflict situations with an emphasis on perceptual and cultural aspects of social conflicts. 4

2. Conduct research in sources of conflicts and possible conflict resolution methods such as negotiation, third-party intervention, cooperative decision making, peace building, track-two and citizens? diplomacy applied to various social contexts. 4

3. Design and implement conflict resolution process to policy issues related to disputes in or among identity groups, governments, organizations, civil society or corporations. 3

4. Develop and sustain arguments in a variety of forms, formulating appropriate questions and utilizing evidence. 5

1. Begin to grasp historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics. 4

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.



Martin Osborne, An Introduction to Game Theory, Oxford University Press 2004


Lichbach, Mark I., 2003, Is Rational Choice Theory All of Social Science? University of Michigan Press, Chapter 3, 28-40 (e-book)
Elster, Jon, 1998, Alchemies of the Mind: Rationality and the Emotions, Cambridge University Press, pp. 283-328
Tversky, Amos and Daniel Kahneman, 1981, ?The Framing of Decisions and the Psychology of Choice?, Science, New Series, Vol. 211, No. 4481, pp. 453-458.
Arce, Daniel and Todd Sandler, 2005, ?Counterterrorism: A Game-Theoretic Analysis?, Journal of Conflict Resolution 49(2): 183-200.
Tsebelis, George, 1989, ?The Abuse of Probability Analysis: The Robinson Crusoe Fallacy?, American Political Science Review, Vol. 83, No.1, pp. 77-91.
Mark Lichbach. 1990. ?Will Rational People Rebel Against Inequality? Samson's Choice.? American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 34, No. 4. (Nov., 1990), pp. 1049-1076.
Geddes, Barbara, 1991, ?A Game Theoretic Model of Reform in Latin American Democracies?, American Science Review, Vol. 85, No. 2, pp. 371-392.
McCarthy, Nolan and Adam Meirowitz, 2007, Political Game Theory: An Introduction, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, pg 101-107
McCarthy, Nolan and Adam Meirowitz, 2007, Political Game Theory: An Introduction, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, pg 140
Przeworski, Adam. 1991. Democracy and the Market: Political and Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, Chapter 2.
Ulfelder, Jay, 2010, Dilemmas of Democratic Consolidation: A Game-theory Approach, First Forum Press, Chapter 2
Weingast. Barry R. 1997. ?The Political Foundations of Democracy and the Rule of Law.? American Political Science Review 91(2): 245-263.
Rubinstein, Ariel. 1982. ?Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model.? Econometrica 50: 97?110.
Baron, David P. and John A. Ferejohn. (1989) ?Bargaining in Legislatures.? American Political Science Review 89: 1181-1206
Epstein, David and Peter Zemsky. 1995 ?Money Talks: Deterring Quality Challengers in Congressional Elections? The American Political Science Review, Vol. 89, No. 2 (Jun., 1995), pp. 295-308