Simulation Game "Playing Politics" WS 2017/2018

Simulation Game "Playing Politics"

Practical experiencing theoretical concepts of
political interactions and bargaining

Simulation Game as Block course in Winter Semester 201718 for BA & MA Students at the Europe-University Viadrina, Frankfurt/O., Germany



WED 1st Nov. 6 – 9pm Intro­duc­to­ry ses­si­on (man­da­to­ry)|

Pre­sen­ta­ti­on for down­load → here


FRI 24th Nov. and SAT 25 th Nov. 10am-5pm, and SUN 26 th Nov. 10am-3pm (all man­da­to­ry)



The pur­po­se of the simu­la­ti­on game "Play­ing poli­tics" is to show prac­tical impli­ca­ti­ons of theo­reti­cal approa­ches and models of poli­ti­cal inter­ac­tions. Poli­tics are cal­cu­la­ted and cal­cu­la­ting inter­ac­tions bet­ween self-inte­rested poli­ti­cal actors – indi­vi­du­als, poli­ti­ci­ans, poli­ti­cal par­ties, pres­su­re groups, natio­nal governments, and alli­an­ces of coun­tries. The simu­la­ti­on game pres­ents poli­ti­cal action as simp­le games, dis­clo­sing imper­fec­tions and dilem­ma­ta, and explo­ring com­ple­xi­ty of the "real" world in a play­ful atmo­s­phe­re.

The theo­reti­cal-ana­ly­ti­cal part of the semi­nar focu­ses on approa­ches and models from game theo­ry, ratio­nal choice theo­ry, action theo­ry, and bar­gai­ning and nego­tia­ti­on theo­ry. Par­ti­ci­pants will ela­bo­ra­te on the­se models, select and deve­lop an ana­ly­ti­cal focus and instru­ment in a first step. The second step is both, play­ing games and obser­ving from a meta­le­vel per­spec­tive – the group will be divi­ded into sub-groups then. The third step is reflec­tion on games and wri­ting a paper.

Par­ti­ci­pants will deve­lop their skills in rea­ding and wri­ting sci­en­ti­fic texts, in asking good (not only sci­en­ti­fic) ques­ti­ons, and joy­ful­ly impro­ve their per­so­nal bar­gai­ning skills. They will inves­ti­ga­te poli­ti­cal sci­en­ces theo­ries, and will expe­ri­ence how to do empi­ri­cal rese­arch in a small sca­le.


Literature (Selection of Relevant References)

Axel­rod, Robert (2006): The Evo­lu­ti­on of Coope­ra­ti­on. Revi­sed ed., Basic Books: New York.

Davis, Mor­ton D. (1997): Game Theo­ry: A Non­tech­ni­cal Intro­duc­tion (Dover Books on Mathe­ma­tics). Basic Books: New York.

Els­ter, Jon (2007): Exp­lai­ning Soci­al Beha­vi­or. More Nuts and Bolts for the Soci­al Sci­en­ces. Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press: Cam­bridge, New York.

Fisher, Roger / Ury, Wil­liam (2012): Get­ting to Yes: Nego­tia­ting an agree­ment with­out giving in. New edi­ti­on, Ran­dom Hou­se Busi­ness Publ.: Lon­don.

Laver, Micha­el (1997): Play­ing Poli­tics. The Night­ma­re Con­ti­nues. Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press: Oxford, New York.

Laver, Micha­el (1997): Pri­va­te Desi­res, Poli­ti­cal Action: Invi­ta­ti­on to the Poli­tics of Ratio­nal Choice. Rev. ed., Sage Publi­ca­ti­ons Ltd: Lon­don.

Olson, Man­cur (2002): The Logic of Collec­tive Action: Public Goods and the Theo­ry of Groups. 2nd prin­ting with new pre­face and appen­dix (Har­vard Eco­no­mic Stu­dies), Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty: Cam­bridge Mas­sa­chu­setts.

Schel­ling, Tho­mas C. (1990): The Stra­te­gy of Con­flict. Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty, Cam­bridge Mas­sa­chu­setts, Reprint, Wiley Publ.: Lon­don.

Schel­ling, Tho­mas C. (2006): Micro Moti­ves and Macro Beha­vi­or. W.W. Nor­ton & Com­pa­ny: New York, Lon­don.

Tse­be­lis, Geor­ge (2002): Veto Play­ers. How Poli­ti­cal Insti­tu­ti­ons Work. Rus­sell Sage Foun­da­ti­on: New York / Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Press: Prince­ton (NJ).


Preconditions for Participating in the Simulation Game

Curiou­si­ty for a dif­fe­rent semi­nar for­mat and play­ing games. Com­mit­ment for active par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on, self respon­si­bi­li­ty and self organi­sation. Good com­mand in English. As the simu­la­ti­on game will only works with nume­rous play­ers, the num­ber of par­ti­ci­pants should be at mini­mum 20 per­sons.

Stu­dents have to wri­te a short moti­va­tio­nal let­ter why they would like to par­ti­ci­pa­te on the simu­la­ti­on game, and to indi­ca­te whe­ther they are BA-stu­dents or MA-stu­dents. The­re­fo­re, pri­or app­li­ca­ti­on is man­da­to­ry via email: playing.politics[ätt] Dead­line for sen­ding moti­va­ti­on for par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on is SUN 22nd Oct. 2017. The win­ners will be infor­med in time.


Information on Seminar

Stu­dents from both, Bache­lor and Mas­ter degree are wel­co­me:

BA: Prac­tice Modu­le / Advan­ced Soci­al Sci­en­ces

MA (MASS, Euro­pean Stu­dies): Prac­tice Modu­le / Modu­le Poli­tics and Culture/ Opti­on Modu­le

Dif­fe­ring requi­re­ments are taken into account by the lec­tu­rer.

All ques­ti­ons on semi­nar details and cer­ti­fi­ca­te requi­re­ments will be dis­cus­sed at the first ses­si­on, on WED 1st Nov. 2017 from 6 – 9pm. And, the­re will be given a short intro by the lec­tu­rer to speed rea­ding sci­en­ti­fic texts, the art of asking power­ful ques­ti­ons, doing empi­ri­cal rese­arch and wri­ting sci­en­ti­fic texts (e.g. essays).


Certificate / Grading

Gra­ding: 36 ECTS

Details on the pre­re­qui­si­tes for a cer­ti­fi­ca­te are dis­cus­sed at the first ses­si­on on WED 1st Nov. 2017.