Simulation in International Relations: Developments for Research and Teaching

By Harold Guetzkow; Chadwick F. Alger et al. | Go to book overview

Foreword

This book is a report on the development of a simulation of international relations undertaken by the International Relations Program of Northwestern University. The essays were assembled so that we might share our experience with others who may be interested in appraising and/or undertaking an experimental approach to the study of international political systems. The limitations of the inter-nation simulation in its present primitive state of development are recognized--and thus it is with reluctance that we publish at all. But because it is a privilege to push forward in this venture, it seems responsible to tell of our explorations in more detail than has been possible by word of mouth or by demonstration to visitors to our laboratory.

The chapters in this book tell how we use the simulation for purposes of research and teaching. The pieces attempt to be candid in explaining our difficulties, showing how the formulation of the simulation has evolved slowly, segment by segment, as logged in Appendix A. The essays indicate our perspectives, assuring each and all that no one at Northwestern holds the belief that the inter-nation simulation is more than a supplemental tool to our more traditional ways of building theory about international affairs.

In the opening chapter, Richard C. Snyder, who is co-director with me of Northwestern's International Relations Program, provides us with a helpful perspective. Chapter Two is my overview of the internation simulation, reprinted without modification from the July, 1959, issue of Behavioral Science. This general piece is followed by three chapters that present the inter-nation simulation in considerable detail. Chapter Three reproduces the Participants' Manual; it will enable those who want to view the simulation from the "inside to gain something of the perspective of the decision-makers. It is largely the work of Robert C. Noel, although all of us aided in its

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