¹ 2 - 2004
Larsen S.U., Hersvik J.

Downfall and Restoration of a Democratic Regime in Portugal (Essay of Applying Games Theory to the Analysis of Historical Events)

The article demonstrates potentialities inherent in elementary theory of games, as applicable to the study of well known historical events. Two most significant events in recent history of Portugal were chosen as subject of study: downfall of democracy in 1926, and restoration of democratic regime in 1974. When analyzing the former of the two events, the model of “funnel of causality” was used, too, as a means of theoretically regularized interpretation of the processes that had preconditioned the event in question. In the first part of the article, published in this issue, the authors analyze the coup d’etat of 1926 as a static game between two actors (the liberal regime and the coup-makers), which was being carried on in the “orifice” of the national “funnel of causality”. As is demonstrated by the analysis, the liberal regime that was acting on the Portuguese political scene on the threshold of the 1926 coup, in actual fact was not that much “liberal”. Amidst the situation when the regime persisted in the assertion of its own infallibility, a coup d’etat began to seem the only way to changes. The alliance of the semi-loyal and the illoyal opposition — alliance that finally led to the coup d’etat — had formed by reason of the liberal regime’s not being in a position to guarantee gradual transformations.