The Influence of International Relations Theories on Decision-Making in Experimental Interaction

  • Sarah Komasová
Keywords: decision-making, experiment, discourse, logic of appropriateness


This article presents the results of an experimental analysis of the influence of international relations theories on the decision-making process. The experimental model was constructed on the basis of the iterated prisoner’s dilemma, which was introduced to three hundred participants through discursively influenced narratives of an evolving international relations situation. The narratives, representing an independent variable, have been derived from three theories of international relations: realism, neoliberalism, and constructivism. The goal of the experiment was to test whether these three different discursive framings result in different levels of cooperation. Using random assignment, the experiment showed a statistically significant difference between the types of decision-making of participants assigned to the realist and the neoliberal experimental treatment. The understanding of the decision-making process was further enriched by an analysis of interviews with selected participants in the experiment.

Author Biography

Sarah Komasová
born in 1989, she is a PhD candidate in the Department of International Relations, the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in the Czech Republic. Her research interest focuses on protection of critical infrastructure and especially airport security and security privatisation.
Research Articles