Network Games: Strategic Reasoning in International Relations (With Applications in Chinese Foreign Policy)

Presentation in Mandarin; PPT in English; bilingual Q&As

Building on the research tradition initiated by Karl Deutsch and Robert Jervis, this book project aims to push the boundaries of international relations theory and provide an analytical foundation for the ‘international system’. By leveraging the approach of network games to express and unify classical assumptions from IR theories (e.g., Waltz 1959, 1971) — akin to ‘weaving Aeolian song into Latin verses’, the book introduces a novel framework for understanding and predicting countries’ complex interactions in the networked security environment. The book’s application chapters delve into three key aspects of the US–China competition. The first aspect examines potential conflict situations over the Taiwan Strait and estimates the survival likelihoods of involved countries under various conditions, providing insights into the strategic landscape of the region. The second aspect explores how both the US and China utilize trade as a crucial mechanism to influence the international system and shape the future world order. The third aspect investigates the competition between the US and China not only through hard power but also over influence through the diffusion of norms, revealing the soft power dynamics at play in their rivalry and the implications of this contest.

Yuke Li received her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Peking University in 2011, followed by a PhD in Political Science from Yale University in 2018. She has since pursued postdoctoral training at Yale Department of Electrical Engineering on a US Army Research Office grant (2019) and at the Westlake Institute for Advanced Study. Her research interests are in two main areas: game theory, multi-agent systems, and their applications in international relations, as well as Chinese foreign policy. She has published her work in top venues including Automatica, Communications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation, and the World Economic Forum Agenda. She is currently an Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford China Centre.