Equilibrium analysis of political institutions

Authored by: Milan W. Svolik

Routledge Handbook of Comparative Political Institutions

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415630887
eBook ISBN: 9781315731377
Adobe ISBN: 9781317551799


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At their most political, institutions determine who holds power and how power is exercised. Political institutions thus shape the influence and behavior of their participants and, for that very reason, their adoption and design are the subject of political struggle. Formal political theory—the application of game-theoretic methods to political phenomena—develops this basic insight. 2 Game-theoretically inspired arguments explain the emergence and persistence of political institutions as the equilibrium outcome of strategic interaction among actors who strive to anticipate the implications of the institutional status quo and its conceivable alternatives for both their own and others’ welfare.

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