People have analyzed strategic thinking long before the academic field of game theory started in the 1950s.  I argue that Jane Austen’s six novels, among the most widely beloved in the English language, can be understood as a systematic analysis of strategic thinking.  Austen’s novels do not simply provide interesting “case material” for the game theorist to analyze, but are themselves very ambitious and wide-ranging theoretically, providing insights not yet superseded by modern social science.

That is the abstract of a talk that Michael Chwe will give at UCLA on April 23.  Unfortunately for those of us who can’t attend, there doesn’t seem to be a paper available.  But Michael Chwe is an extremely creative and broad-minded theorist so you can bet that it’s going to be good.  And if we can’t read his thoughts on Jane Austen, there’s always Michael’s paper “Why Were the Workers Whipped?  Pain in a Principal-Agent Model.”