MLSE Seminar: Mehmet Ismail

Date: Monday, December 9th

Presenter: Mehmet Ismail

Authors: Mehmet Ismail (Department of Political Economy, KCL, UK)

Title: The Story of Conflict and Cooperation

Abstract: The story of conflict and cooperation has started millions of years ago, and now it is everywhere: In biology, computer science, economics, political science, and psychology. This paper is a small contribution to this rather long story, and it is so preliminary that any feedback can only improve the paper, so it’s much appreciated. Examples of games of conflict and cooperation include wars, airline alliances, trade, oligopolistic cartels, the evolution of species and genes, and team sports. However, neither cooperative games nor noncooperative games—in which “each participant acts independently, without collaboration or communication with any of the others” (Nash, 1951, p. 286)—can fully capture the competition between and across individuals and groups, and the strategic partnerships that give rise to such groups. Thus, I extend the extensive-form noncooperative framework to study strategic games like scientific publication, which is a rather competitive game, yet (strategic) collaboration is widespread. In this paper, I propose a novel way to rationally play games of conflict and cooperation under the “principle of free will”—players are free to cooperate to coordinate their actions or act independently.