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Dissertation Abstract

Game Theory as a Decision Making Tool for Leaders: An Evaluation Using Huntington’s Clash of Civilization Model

Anthony W. Hughes
November 2007

This study develops a model useful for senior leaders working in international relations. Based upon Huntington’s (1993) clash of civilizations theory, this model uses game theory to help operationalize Huntington’s variables. Applying the tenets of decision making, the model is designed to help leaders differentiate between intra-relations among states within the seven civilizations Huntington identified and inter-relations between nations from different civilizations. This model accounts for both good relations between states and bad relations. It also introduces a mechanism to factor in non-state entities such as terrorist organizations and the United Nations. The model uses the Valuenet process to develop a rigorous utility estimation for various courses of actions through an evaluation of benefits and costs. Aggregating the available courses of action allow the leaders to comparatively evaluate between these option. By developing a game-theory decision making matrix model for international relations, senior leaders will be better equipped to assess options and arrive at optimum solutions during an international crisis.