The Role of Informational Asymmetry in Interfaith Communication During Conflict: A Game Theoretical Approach
Keywords:Interfaith dialogues, issues, concern, different faiths, interactions, troubles period, Northern Ireland
Interfaith dialogues are platforms to address the issues of common concern for different faiths and beliefs. In this article, we use game theory to draw attention to the tensions between representing one’s community and reaching out to the ‘other’ side in pursuit of a common goal. We investigate the role of uncertainty and trust in interfaith communications, especially in times of political conflict. We propose four dynamic game models of incomplete information classified into two categories. Through our model, we find that even if one participant would prefer a scenario where the other party is cooperative while she herself remains defiant for reputational purposes, as long as she values a mutual solution/cooperation to mutual defection/conflict, the interfaith interaction will be more likely to be successful. Our models also show that the parties will be more tolerant of a ‘defiant’ looking behaviour if they believe they are dealing with a partner who is sincere and not prone to peer pressure, rather than one who cares more about his reputation than the communication itself. We demonstrate the findings of our models by using the case of the interfaith interactions during the Troubles Period in Northern Ireland.
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