Chapter

Transnational Cooperation Dilemmas

Scott Barrett

in Environment and Statecraft

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199286096
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602832 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199286094.003.0003
 Transnational Cooperation Dilemmas

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This chapter develops a theoretical foundation for understanding international cooperation problems — why they arise, and why they are not easily addressed. Cooperation is cast as a game theoretic problem. In particular, full cooperation is shown not to be a Nash equilibrium, implying that full cooperation cannot be sustained by the anarchic international system. This framework is then examined from different perspectives, including experimental game theory, moral philosophy, and international relations. The theory is illustrated by the example of international whaling.

Keywords: prisoners’ dilemma; externalities; Nash equilibrium; communication; transparency; commitment; sovereignty; preferences; self-interest; whaling

Chapter.  18492 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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