Chicken

Discipline: Political Science

An application of game theory.

Political conflicts arise which are analogous to the game of chicken in which two contestants will, for instance, drive towards each other in motor cars. If both hold their course, both will crash. The one who saves herself, and so her opponent, is the 'chicken'.

As in other 'games', the action of each participant is seen to be dependent in part on their estimate of the likely behavior of the other.

The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 is often described in these terms.

Source:
Robert Abrams, Foundations of Political Analysis (New York, 1979)

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