Politics and the Equilibrium of Fear: Can Strategies and Emotions Interact?

Arthur Lupia and Jesse O. Menning

in The Affect Effect

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226574417
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226574431 | DOI:
Politics and the Equilibrium of Fear: Can Strategies and Emotions Interact?

Show Summary Details


This chapter reports a global view of affective politics from the perspective of game theory. Many game-theoretic efforts in political science are criticized for the minimal way in which they represent how people think, as well as their psychological inadequacy. Research concerning emotion conducted over the course of the past decade reinforces the idea that emotions are necessary for goal-oriented behavior. In the Sanfey research agenda, the empirical study of emotions and a game-theoretic representation of a social situation combine to provide superior insights into the relation between emotion and strategic behavior. Emotions play a significant role in the outcome of political processes. A game-theoretic approach can clarify the conditions under which politicians should seek to evoke fear among voters and the conditions under which people will respond to emotional appeals.

Keywords: game theory; affective politics; political science; emotion; Sanfey research; fear; game-theoretic approach; strategic behavior

Chapter.  8089 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.