Special Issue "Political Games: Strategy, Persuasion, and Learning"

A special issue of Games (ISSN 2073-4336).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Gabriele Gratton
Website
Guest Editor
School of Economics, UNSW Business School, USNW Sydney
Interests: Strategic voting; electoral competition; Political economy
Dr. Galina Zudenkova
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics, University of Mannheim, L7, 3-5,68131 Mannheim, Germany
Interests: Applied Theory; Political Economy; Public Economics; Contract Theory; Industrial Organization

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Political actors navigate a world of incomplete and noisy information. Voters make decisions about turnout and voting amidst campaign promises, credit claiming, and fake news. Policymakers experiment with reforms amidst uncertain predictions from experts and biased interest groups. Parties form coalitions and sign agreements amidst cheap talk and strategic communication. Beyond democracies, autocrats and dictators rule under uncertain threats to their regimes. In all of these environments, some political actors have incentives to learn and gather information, while others have incentives to influence and manipulate this information.

This Special Issue addresses the question of how information structures, information transmission, and communication technologies impact political environments and affect the incentives faced by political actors. We invite submissions, both theoretical and experimental, that contribute to our understanding of political communication strategy, electoral campaigning, information manipulation, communication in networks, voting, policymaking, lobbying, intra-party politics, coalition formation, bargaining, and, in general, strategic interactions between political actors in environments with incomplete information. Recent developments in information and communication technologies and the role of social media are of particular interest, but our focus is by no means limited to them.

We particularly welcome papers that promote novel and provocative ideas.

Dr. Gabriele Gratton
Dr. Galina Zudenkova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Games is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There are no submission charges, but manuscripts accepted for publication in the special issue may attract an Article Processing Charge (APC). We will waive the APC for all manuscripts submitted before 31 December 2018. From 1 January 2019 onward, the APC for publication in this special issue will be 250 CHF (Swiss Francs). Up to 3 manuscripts recommended by the special issue editors will be free of charge. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Political economy
  • Information transmission
  • Communication
  • Persuasion
  • Learning
  • Media and politics
  • Campaigns
  • Intra-party politics
  • Voting
  • Games of incomplete information

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Introduction to the Special Issue Political Games: Strategy, Persuasion, and Learning
Games 2020, 11(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/g11010010 - 07 Feb 2020
Abstract
All political actors, from world leaders to common citizens, make choices based on information that is noisy, perhaps biased, and sometimes fake [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle
Public Information: Relevance or Salience?
Games 2020, 11(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/g11010004 - 06 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
How does salient public information affect voters’ behavior? In a majoritarian voting game with common preferences, rational voters could use public information as an information device (depending on accuracy) or as a coordination device (regardless of accuracy). A simple lab experiment contradicts both [...] Read more.
How does salient public information affect voters’ behavior? In a majoritarian voting game with common preferences, rational voters could use public information as an information device (depending on accuracy) or as a coordination device (regardless of accuracy). A simple lab experiment contradicts both hypotheses – subjects tend to follow public information when it is salient, regardless of the information’s accuracy, but fail to use it as a source of coordination. In particular, it matters whether the information is recent – subjects are more likely to follow public information when it is provided closer to the voting decision. These findings are important because the salience of public information is easily manipulable by political actors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Game-Free Microfoundation of Mutual Optimism
Games 2019, 10(4), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10040037 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
One of the most widely accepted explanations for why wars occur despite its Pareto-suboptimality is mutual optimism: if both sides expect to gain a lot by fighting, war becomes inevitable. The literature on mutual optimism typically assumes mutually optimistic beliefs and shows that, [...] Read more.
One of the most widely accepted explanations for why wars occur despite its Pareto-suboptimality is mutual optimism: if both sides expect to gain a lot by fighting, war becomes inevitable. The literature on mutual optimism typically assumes mutually optimistic beliefs and shows that, under such an assumption, war may occur despite its Pareto-suboptimality. In a war–peace model, we show that, if players neglect the correlation between other players’ actions and their types—a well-established concept in economics—then players’ expected payoffs from war increase relative to conventional informational sophistication predictions, hence providing a microfoundation of mutual optimism. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Electoral Competition with Strategic Disclosure
Games 2019, 10(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10030029 - 06 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Recent developments in information and communication technologies allow candidates for office to engage in sophisticated messaging strategies to influence voter choice. We consider how access to different technologies influence the choice of policy platforms by candidates. We find that when candidates can target [...] Read more.
Recent developments in information and communication technologies allow candidates for office to engage in sophisticated messaging strategies to influence voter choice. We consider how access to different technologies influence the choice of policy platforms by candidates. We find that when candidates can target messages to specific voter groups, platforms are more likely to be inefficient. In particular, when candidates can run targeted campaigns, they commit to projects that benefit small groups even when the social cost of these projects outweigh their benefits. Our results are robust to negative advertising. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Note on Pivotality
Games 2019, 10(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/g10020024 - 01 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
This note provides simple derivations of the equilibrium conditions for different voting games with incomplete information. In the standard voting game à la Austen-Smith and Banks (1996), voters update their beliefs, and, conditional on their being pivotal, cast their votes. However, in voting [...] Read more.
This note provides simple derivations of the equilibrium conditions for different voting games with incomplete information. In the standard voting game à la Austen-Smith and Banks (1996), voters update their beliefs, and, conditional on their being pivotal, cast their votes. However, in voting games such as those of Ellis (2016) and Fabrizi, Lippert, Pan, and Ryan (2019), given a closed and convex set of priors, ambiguity-averse voters would select a prior from this set in a strategy-contingent manner. As a consequence, both the pivotal and non-pivotal events matter to voters when deciding their votes. In this note, I demonstrate that for ambiguous voting games the conditional probability of being pivotal alone is no longer sufficient to determine voters’ best responses. Full article
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