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Topics: Political Strategy
A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. The word strategy has military connotations, because it derives from the Greek word for general.
Strategy is different from tactics. In military terms, tactics is concerned with the conduct of an engagement while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. In other words, how a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy.
Strategies in game theory
In game theory, a strategy refers to one of the options that a player can choose. That is, every player in a non-cooperative game has a set of possible strategies, and must choose one of them.
A strategy must specify what action will happen in each contingent state of the game - e.g. if the opponent does A, then take action B, whereas if the opponent does C, take action D.
Strategies in game theory may be random (mixed) or deterministic (pure). That is, in some games, players choose mixed strategies. Pure strategies can be thought of as a special case of mixed strategies, in which only probabilities 0 or 1 are assigned to actions.
Noted texts on strategy
Classic texts such as Chanakya's Arthashastra written in the 3rd century BC, Sun Tzu's The Art of War, written in China 2,500 years ago, the political strategy of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince, written in 1513, or Carl von Clausewitz's On War, published in 1832, as with the Japanese classic The book of five rings by Miyamoto Mushashi written in 1645, are still well known, and highly influential. In the twentieth century, the subject of strategic management has been particularly applied to organizations, most typically to business firms and corporations.
The nature of historic texts differs greatly from area to area, and given the nature of strategy itself, there are some potential parallels between various forms of strategy (noting, for example, the popularity of the The Art of War as a business book). Each domain generally has its own foundational texts, as well as more recent contributions to new applications of strategy. Some of these are:
* Political strategy
o The Prince, published in 1532 by Niccolò Machiavelli
o Arthashastra, written in the 4th century BC by Chanakya
o The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione