Formal Modelling and Political Analysis I (POLS 534)

2021 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



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