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Why did countries engage in a nuclear arms race? How do we make decisions when we don’t have all the information? What makes international environmental cooperation possible?
Game theory is the study of how we make a decision when the outcome of our moves depends on the decisions of someone else. But it’s not just about predicting your opponent’s next play in a game of chess; conflict and cooperation lie at the heart of game theory, which is useful for understanding behaviour in everything from our social lives to business, global politics to evolutionary theory.
In Introducing Game Theory, economists Ivan and Tuvana Pastine explore this fascinating area, which looks beneath the surface of human behavior calling upon psychology, evolutionary biology, political science and sociology to explain why, when faced with a decision, we sometimes cooperate, sometimes clash, and sometimes act in a way that seems completely random.
Stylishly brought to life by regular Guardian illustrator Tom Humberstone, the book takes readers on a tour of the key ideas and thinkers, and puts you into a series of games that provide a new perspective on the world we live in.
Dr. Ivan and Dr. Tuvana Pastine are American and Turkish university lecturers working in Ireland. They specialize in applications of game theory and have published jointly and separately on a wide variety of fields, analyzing coordinating advertising and price dynamics, political campaign financing, affirmative action in education, sovereign default, speculative attacks, labour migration and international trade.
Tom Humberstone is a comics artist and illustrator. He is the editor and publisher of UK comics anthology Solipsistic Pop and former cartoonist for New Statesman. His illustration clients include the Guardian, VICE, the Independent, Stylist, OUP, and many more.