Zero-sum game is a concept in game theory that suggests that any gain by one player will result in an equal loss by the other. In simpler terms, it is a situation where one person’s gain is another person’s loss.

This theory has been widely used in various fields, including economics, politics, and international relations. In this article, we will explore which theory believes in a zero-sum game.

## What is Game Theory?

Game theory is a branch of mathematics that deals with the study of strategic decision-making. It analyzes the behavior of individuals or groups when faced with competitive situations where the outcome depends on the actions of all the players involved. Game theory is widely used in economics, political science, and psychology to study human behavior.

## What is a Zero-Sum Game?

In a zero-sum game, there are two or more players involved who are competing against each other to achieve their goals. The total gains of all players combined must be equal to the total losses of all players combined. For example, a poker game is considered a zero-sum game because the winnings of one player are equal to the losses of all other players combined.

## Which Theory Believes in a Zero-Sum Game?

The concept of zero-sum games has been widely used in international relations and political science. Realism is one theory that believes in a zero-sum game. According to realism, states are in constant competition with each other for power and resources.

Realists believe that international politics is a struggle for power among sovereign states where every gain by one state comes at the expense of another state. They argue that there can never be true cooperation between states because each state will always pursue its own interests at the expense of others.

### Realism and International Relations

Realism has been influential in shaping international relations since World War II. Realists argue that states are the main actors in international politics, and the international system is anarchic, meaning there is no higher authority to govern the behavior of states.

Realism has been criticized for its pessimistic view of international politics, which assumes that conflict and competition are inevitable. Critics argue that cooperation and collaboration are also possible in international relations, and zero-sum games do not accurately reflect all situations.

### Conclusion

In conclusion, zero-sum games are situations where one player’s gain is another player’s loss. Realism is a theory that believes in a zero-sum game, where states compete against each other for power and resources. While realism has been influential in shaping international relations, it has also been criticized for its pessimistic view of cooperation and collaboration between states.