Simulation Game Playing Politics | Growing Into Life

Simu­la­ti­on Game Play­ing Politics

Simu­la­ti­on Game Play­ing Poli­tics. Play­ing Games for the Prac­ti­cal Expe­ri­ence of Ratio­nal Choice Theo­re­ti­cal Con­cepts accor­ding to Micha­el Laver

The semi­nar "Simu­la­ti­on Game Play­ing Poli­tics" is desi­gned for stu­dents of all disci­pli­nes and for both levels, BA and MA. The focus is on deve­lo­ping and deepe­ning prac­ti­cal skills in social sci­en­ces, e.g. Socio­lo­gy, Poli­ti­cal Sci­en­ces, Cul­tu­re Stu­dies, Euro­pean and Inter­na­tio­nal Stu­dies, Media­ti­on, Busi­ness and Law, and other.

The Simu­la­ti­on Game Play­ing Poli­tics is curr­ent­ly being con­duc­ted at the Euro­pe-Uni­ver­si­ty Via­dri­na in Frankfurt/Oder, Ger­ma­ny. All details for the Euro­pe-Uni­ver­si­ty Via­dri­na are below.


The pur­po­se of the simu­la­ti­on game "Play­ing Poli­tics" is to show prac­ti­cal impli­ca­ti­ons of ratio­nal choice and game theo­ry. 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 ratio­nal choice theo­ry, game theo­ry 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 both games and obser­va­ti­on expe­ri­en­ces, and wri­ting a paper.

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

You can find for down­load all PDFs of the intro and reflec­tion ses­si­on as well as on an exam­p­le on how to wri­te an excerpt at Res­sour­ces & Downloads

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).

Details for the Euro­pe-Uni­ver­si­ty Viadrina

Semi­nar for BA and MA
Gra­des 3 | 6 ECTS
BA: Pra­xis­mo­dul / Sozi­al­wis­sen­schaft­li­che Vertiefung
MA (MASS, Euro­pean Stu­dies): Pra­xis­mo­dul / Modul Poli­tik & Kultur/ Optionsmodul

Dates & Rooms

Hybrid For­mat Block Cour­se Som­mer Semes­ter 2021

WED 5th May 2021 from 6 – 9pm | Intro Ses­si­on Online via Big­BlueBut­ton (man­da­to­ry)
FRI 2nd July — SUN 4th July 2021 from 10am-5pm | Block Cour­se Pre­sence for­mat, room HG 162 (man­da­to­ry)

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.

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: or with the cont­act form here. Dead­line for sen­ding moti­va­ti­on for par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on is a day befo­re Intro ses­si­on takes place. The win­ners will be infor­med in time.

Infor­ma­ti­on on the Seminar

Stu­dents from both, Bacha­lor and Mas­ter degree are wel­co­me. Dif­fe­ring requi­re­ments are taken into account by the lecturer.

All ques­ti­ons on semi­nar details and gra­de requi­re­ments will be dis­cus­sed at the first ses­si­on (intro­duc­to­ry ses­si­on). And, the­re will be given a short intro by the lec­tu­rer on the deve­lo­p­ment of rese­arch designs for doing empi­ri­cal rese­arch and on wri­ting sci­en­ti­fic texts (excerp­ts, assignments).


Gra­ding: 3 | 6 ECTS

Details on the pre­re­qui­si­tes for a gra­de are dis­cus­sed at the first ses­si­on (intro­duc­to­ry session).

Pre­vious Dates of the Semi­nar "Simu­la­ti­on Game Play­ing Poli­tics" at the Euro­pe-Uni­ver­si­ty Via­dri­na in Frankfurt/ Oder, Germany

Block cour­se Win­ter Semes­ter 2020 — 2021

Hybrid For­mat Block Course

MON 2nd Novem­ber 2020 from 6 – 9pm | Intro Ses­si­on Online via Big­BlueBut­ton (man­da­to­ry)
FRI 4th Decem­ber — SUN 6th Decem­ber 2020 from 10am-5pm | Block Cour­se Offline/Presence, room LH 101102 (Logen­haus, Logen­stras­se 11) (man­da­to­ry)

Online Block cour­se Sum­mer Semes­ter 2020

WED 17th June 2020 from 6 – 9pm Intro Ses­si­on Online via Big­BlueBut­ton (man­da­to­ry)
FRI 10thSUN 12th July 2020 from 10am — 5pm Block Cour­se Online via Big­BlueBut­ton and Sky­pe (all mandatory)

Block cour­se Win­ter Semes­ter 2019 – 2020

MON 4th Novem­ber 2019 from 6 – 9pm Intro­duc­to­ry ses­si­on (man­da­to­ry), room GD 04
FRI 13th Decem­ber — SUN 15th Decem­ber 2019 from 10am-5pm (all man­da­to­ry), room HG 217

Block cour­se Sum­mer Semes­ter 2019

MON 3rd June 2019 from 6 – 9pm Intro­duc­to­ry ses­si­on (man­da­to­ry), room HG 110
FRI 5th — SUN 7th July 2019 from 10am-5pm (all man­da­to­ry), room HG 110

Block cour­se Win­ter Semes­ter 2018 – 2019

MON 5th Novem­ber 2018 from 6 – 9pm Intro­duc­to­ry ses­si­on (man­da­to­ry), room AM 105
FRI 7th Decem­ber — SUN 9th Decem­ber 2018 from 10am-5pm (all man­da­to­ry), room HG 104

Block cour­se Sum­mer Semes­ter 2018

MON 28th May 2018 from 6 – 9pm Intro­duc­to­ry ses­si­on (man­da­to­ry)
FRI 22nd June — SUN 24th June 2018 from 10am-5pm (all mandatory)

Block cour­se Win­ter Semes­ter 2017 – 2018

WED 1st Novem­ber 2017 from 6 – 9pm Intro­duc­to­ry ses­si­on (man­da­to­ry)
FRI 24th Novem­ber — SUN 26th Novem­ber 2017 from 10am-5pm (all mandatory)