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Ideology and International Institutions$
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Erik Voeten

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691207322

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691207322.001.0001

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A Spatial Modeling Framework

A Spatial Modeling Framework

(p.54) Chapter Four A Spatial Modeling Framework
Ideology and International Institutions

Erik Voeten

Princeton University Press

This chapter proposes a simple spatial modeling framework to analyze how variations in interdependence and ideology shape incentives for cooperation and competition. The goal is to present a framework that is as simple as the prisoner's dilemma, coordination dilemma, battle of the sexes, and other two-by-two games that have served as mental models for rationalist analyses of cooperation. The spatial model easily accommodates multiple actors and distributive conflict and allows for analyses of how institutions structure choices. It starts from the assumption that actors have ideal points in a common low-dimensional ideological space. Yet their utilities are determined not just by their own policies but also by the policies of other actors. This interdependence creates incentives for cooperation. In this context, institutions may help actors achieve mutually beneficial outcomes, but they also have distributive implications. Institutions help shift policy status quos in particular directions.

Keywords:   spatial modeling framework, interdependence, ideology, cooperation, prisoner's dilemma, coordination dilemma, battle of the sexes, two-by-two games, distributive conflict, institutions

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