When, if ever, will it be rational for two countries to engage in nuclear war? Did nuclear weapons actually prevent global conflict during the Cold War? Can game theory predict what would happen in a confrontation between two or more nuclear powers? What does this mean for nuclear weapons and technology today?
If any of the above questions intrigue you, do come listen to Dr. Robert Powell of UC Berkeley speak on this topic. Dr. Powell is Robson Professor of Political Science in UC Berkeley. Dr. Powell is well-known and respected in the field of politics and international relations for his application of game theory to the study of international conflict and war.
Dr. Powell specializes in the use of game theory to study international conflict and political conflict more generally. He is the author of Nuclear Deterrence Theory: The Search for Credibility, In the Shadow of Power: States and Strategies in International Politics. More recently he has focused on the problem of allocating defensive resources against strategic attackers like terrorist groups, and has written “Defending Against Terrorist Attacks with Limited Resources”. He holds a B.S. in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College; an M.Phil in international relations from Cambridge University; and a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley.
Professor Powell’s research focuses on war, international conflict, and the politics of weakly institutionalized states, and he is a specialist in game-theoretic approaches to these issues. He received a B.S. in mathematics from Harvey Mudd College, an M. Phil. in international relations from Cambridge, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from UC Berkeley. His published work includes Nuclear Deterrence Theory: The Search for Credibility, (Cambridge University Press, 1990); In the Shadow of Power: States and Strategies in International Politics (Princeton University Press, 1999); “Bargaining and Fighting While Learning,” American Journal of Political Science (April 2004); and “The Inefficient Use of Power: Costly Conflict with Complete Information” American Political Science Review (May 2004).