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Party CompetitionAn Agent-Based Model$
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Michael Laver and Ernest Sergenti

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139036

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139036.001.0001

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Spatial Dynamics of Political Competition

Spatial Dynamics of Political Competition

Chapter:
(p.15) Chapter Two Spatial Dynamics of Political Competition
Source:
Party Competition
Author(s):

Michael Laver

Ernest Sergenti

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691139036.003.0002

This chapter sets up the core problem of the present volume. To demonstrate that this problem is analytically intractable, it uses results from a subfield of geometry that deals with “Voronoi tessellations” (or tilings) that has powerful applications in many disciplines. Largely unnoticed by political scientists, this work addresses a problem of “competitive spatial location” that is directly analogous to the problem of dynamic competition between a set of political parties competing with each other by offering rival policy programs. One result from this field is that the problem of competitive spatial location is intractable if the space concerned has more than one dimension, implying that there are no formally provable best-response strategies for this. This is an important and widely recognized justification for deploying computational methods, and the study of Voronoi tessellations is a major subfield in computational geometry.

Keywords:   spatial models, Voronoi tessellations, computational geometry, political parties, party competition, competitive spatial location

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