in Schelling's Game Theory

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199857203
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932597 | DOI:

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This chapter looks at specific tactics used to make strategies effective. It is divided into categories with examples from history and recent news used to support each tactic introduced. The categories are: influencing another's expectations; credibility (the importance of establishing credibility for strategies to be successful and means of establishing credible threats, promises, and commitments); last clear chance; irrationality (the “mad man” theory and also how being unpredictable can have strategic advantages); moving in steps, reason forward, look back, teamwork, eliminating options, salami tactics (as an approach for getting around an adversary's commitments); rocking the boat (involving competition in risk taking), brinkmanship, war deterrence, and compellence. The chapter is followed by a supplement based on a tactic mentioned, entitled “Cutting Off Communication a la Schelling,” by Siddharth Mohandas, an Associate Editor of Foreign Affairs. Mohandas was responsible for editing a submission by Schelling and he recounts Schelling's use of his own tactics in getting his article included without editorial change.

Keywords: credibility; salami tactics; deterrence; brinkmanship; mad man theory

Chapter.  6908 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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