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Title: Prisoner Taking and Prisoner Killing: A Comment on Ferguson's Political Economy Approach
Contributor(s): Dollery, Brian Edward  (author); Parsons, C (author)
Publication Date: 2007
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1177/0968344507084727
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Abstract: Niall Ferguson argued that, in part, the Second World War proved much more difficult to end than the First World War because both the German and Japanese armed forces continued fighting long after any realistic prospect of victory had disappeared. He ascribes this difference to the comparatively greater difficulties faced by soldiers wishing to surrender in the Second World War. Only after the Allied military authorities had adopted policies encouraging surrender in the Second World War did large numbers of enemy troops voluntarily surrender, thereby bringing the conflict to a swift conclusion. Ferguson contends that the game theoretic approach developed in economics, as exemplified in the prisoner's dilemma game, can be extended to a `captor's dilemma' game that can shed light on the efficacy of various strategies on surrender policy available to military forces. This paper considers the game theoretic approach advanced by Ferguson and suggests that it requires further refinement before it can satisfactorily explain the problem of surrender.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: War in History, 14(4), p. 499-512
Publisher: Sage Publications
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1477-0385
Field of Research (FOR): 220201 Business and Labour History
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
UNE Business School

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