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ECPR General Conference 2020, University of Innsbruck

Digraph and Game Theory Models of Role Contestation

Comparative Politics
 
Foreign Policy
 
Identity
 

Abstract
The concept of role contestation has emerged within the recent renaissance in role theory. It refers to the process that occurs within states as their decision units decide what role to select in relations with another state. This is part of a larger process of role location between Ego and Alter. In this paper one goal is to model role contestation as a causal mechanism that describes how the process begins and ends prior to a foreign policy decision, which is modeled with digraphs and signed graph theory. The other goal is to anticipate how the decision is likely to be carried out as a role enactment strategy, which is modeled with strategic interaction games and game theory. Illustrative applications of this two-stage model are taken from recent work on Britain’s appeasement decisions toward Nazi Germany in the late 1930s.
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