Leanne C. Powner
Introduction to World Politics
Make Your Own Extensive Form Games - framework for students to create four simple (two-actor, three-node) extensive form games.
Median Voter Theorem - The US, Canada, and Mexico negotiate the NAFTA agreement. Two-page assignment featuring two sets of issue negotiations and power-weighted voting; paired issues with the same actors facilitate conversion into a spatial model as a class activity or teaching tool.
Solving Strategic Form Games - Handout reviewing how to solve a strategic-form game. Prisoner's Dilemma used as an example. (NB: not an assignment, just a handout) See also the animated powerpoint Walk-Through on the PiP website.
With Circular Indifference Curves
German Reunification and the Fate of Berlin - Following the text's end of the Cold War theme, this page asks students to create a simple spatial model representing interaction between Kohl and Gorbachev over the security of Berlin and policy towards East German refugees. Allows a good introduction of issues of types and uncertainty as a preview of the next text chapter.
Domestic Turmoil and East Asian Security - Advanced spatial modeling concepts applied to interaction between Taiwan and Mainland China over integration and regional security. Integrates ideas of war as a breakdown in bargaining, domestic politics, uncertainty/types, faces of power, and suggests some links between security and IPE in the context of leader security. Students need a solid understanding of indifference curves to complete this assignment; advanced students are invited to convert this scenario into an extensive form game with uncertainty.
US Assistance in the Nicaraguan Civil War - In development. Please email if interested in beta version.
Games with Uncertainty - Contains three separate sets of two-actor extensive form games with one information set: enough games to allow your students to practice and master this skill. Set I includes 'The Jerry Springer Game,' in which Pat and Chris confront allegations of infidelity without ever using a single gender-specific pronoun. Set II includes Bush and Hussein, the Japan-EU trade relationship, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Double-Zero Option, a three-type game used as a challenge for students. Set III includes Kohl, Gorbachev, and Berlin (reprised from the spatial model worksheet, providing an opportunity to discuss how the choice of modeling framework affects the kind of conclusions we can draw), the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court, EU-WTO negotiations on agriculture protection, the Yom Kippur War, and a challenge game of the appeasement at Munich, where a prior move by Hitler causes pooling of types at the point of Chamberlain's decision. The set also includes an incomplete game composing both Bush-Hussein matches above, where both players face uncertainty. **Please note that pages in the middle of the document are out of order.
Make Your Own Strategic Form Game - "Preferences, Choices, and Common Games" takes students through the steps of creating and solving a strategic form game, then comparing those payoffs to the logic of other simple, common games.* References a document currently unavailable electronically, which contains tables from the old BdM workbook with payoff structures from common games (prisoner's dilemma, stag hunt, chicken, battle of the sexes, deadlock, etc.).
Battle of the Sexes and First Mover Advantage - Students create preference orderings and extensive-form games for Franco-British interaction over which Chunnel lanes would travel in each direction. The extensive-form games then collapse into a Battle-of-the-Sexes strategic form game which emphasizes the importance of the first mover advantage. (NB: The term "battle of the sexes" does not appear.)
Backgrounder handout on the Cold War - Most of our current freshmen were born as the Cold War was ending. This gives them a quick and dirty, two-page timeline of key events and personalities. MS Word (*.doc) format.
Negotiating at Munich - two-day in-class simulation. Four teams (Czechoslovakia, Germany, UK, and US/USSR) receive private information from contemporary diplomatic documents about what their side knew and believed during the crisis. All teams receive public information/common knowledge from contemporary news accounts. Several rounds of negotiation between Germany and the Czechoslovaks reveal rapidly that given what each side believes about the cost of war, the value of the outcome, and the chance of winning, no negotiated outcome appears feasible (even though analysts with full information can see otherwise). The intervention of the UK and US (albeit indirectly - this team can be dropped if necessary) introduces a revaluation and also a changed probability, so that a zone of agreement is clear to the parties. This simulation is not fully written up. If you are truly interested in adopting it, please email me with a couple weeks' notice and I'll be happy to get it put together for you.
Comparative Advantage worksheet - appropriate for homework or in-class partner activity. The logic of comparative advantage, as revealed when a disaster in Ann Arbor destroys all commercial sources of beer and pizza so that two frats must produce their own.
Hegemonic Stability Theory and Game Theory
Powner and Croco (2005) contains lesson plans and student handouts
for the following topics:
For Fearon (1995), see also "Negotiating at Munich," above.
Allendoerfer, Jo, and Powner (2007) contains a detailed lesson plan and all necessary supporting materials for interactive teaching of mixed strategies. The lesson plan contains adaptations for both exposure-oriented and mastery-oriented versions, along with student handouts, assessment ideas, and adaptations for advanced learners.
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505 South State Street - Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1045
Site designed and maintained by Leanne Powner, LPowner@umich.edu. Last updated 16 August 2007.