Games of July Explaining the Great War
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"Seldom does one see a game-theoretic approach as carefully applied to the puzzling decisions of 1914. Zagare's theory allows us to understand the beginnings of World War I from a different and unified perspective while also challenging more traditional approaches to international relations." ---Glenn Palmer, Penn State World War I plays a central role in many of the theoretical debates among scholars of international politics. Taking advantage of recent advances in game theory and the latest historiography, Frank Zagare offers a new and provocative interpretation of the events that led to the outbreak of a world war in August 1914. He analyzes key events from Bismarck's surprising decision in 1879 to enter a strategic alliance with Austria-Hungary; to the British attempt to ensure peace; to the German invasion of Belgium and France; and finally, to the escalation that culminated in a full-scale global war. Zagare concludes that, while the war was most certainly unintended, it was in no sense accidental. Along the way, key decision makers in all the pertinent capitals made calculated choices that may have been wrongheaded but that were also rational. Yet, until the very end, the war was not inevitable. There were alternative rational courses that did not necessarily imply conflict. With different leaders or with different policies, the war could have been averted.The Games of Julyserves not only as an analytical narrative but also as a work of theoretical assessment employing various realist explanations along with a collection of game-theoretic models known as Perfect Deterrence Theory. Frank C. Zagare is Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York, Buffalo.
List price: $36.95
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Publication date: 3/3/2011
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall