Atop the social order of these European powers is the notion of self-help as in no one will defend you, rather you must protect yourself. This notion creates a security dilemma as states are driven to acquire more and more power, constructing a vicious cycle. This causes problems of collaboration between powers centering on arms races and public goods provision. Firstly, European powers experienced a security dilemma between 1910 and 1945 as a result of war. Theoretically, each power assumes to know the equilibrium strategies of the other powers. As a result, each power chooses to defect in nash equilibrium, as neither power has anything to gain by switching their strategy to cooperate or to choose peace. Consequently, powers choose to defect or participate in war, he...
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...th Britain and France to combat Germany with the hegemonic order characterized by American power backing the war effort.
In contrast, the suppressed security dilemma of the period, 1945 through 2016, created a period of stable cooperation. Beginning in 1950, post World War II, countries united as a European Coal and Steel community in order to secure post war peace, creating the modern day European Union. The union serves to provide global public goods in areas such as health, governance and security. As a result, these powers would choose to cooperate in a theoretical prisoner’s dilemma nash equilibrium as the dominant strategy, as a world power supported by the United States. Accordingly, these powers are able to experience public goods in an environment of stable cooperation as this strategy reduces the threat of war and the outcomes of insecurity and conflict.
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