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Guns or Butter

Purpose: To see if participants can set goals for their country and then take actions that help their country meet its goals.  To analyze the methods and strategies one uses to reach their goals.


Overview: "Guns or Butter models an international system of up to five nations with various resources and power.” The objective is for each group to build up its nation, attempting to balance external security through a strong military -- guns -- with internal security through social programs – butter by means of trade agreements, common markets, military alliances, and even war.  


Reflection: At the end of the simulation, participants will be asked to discuss your goals and what helped or hindered you in meeting your goals.


Number of participants :  5 – 25 participants divided into 5 teams.  The game can accommodate more participants if students share roles.