PATHOLOGIES OF RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY

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Pathologies Of Rational Choice Theory

Author : Donald Green
ISBN : 0300066368
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 48.95 MB
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A critical evaluation of the use of rational choice theory in political science. In this text, the authors assess this theory where it is believed to be most useful: the study of collective action, the behaviour of political parties, and phenomena such as voting cycles and prisoners' dilemmas.
Category: Political Science

The Rational Choice Controversy

Author : Jeffrey Friedman
ISBN : 0300068212
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 44.75 MB
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Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory, a book written by Donald Green and Ian Shapiro and published in 1994, excited much controversy among political scientists and promoted a dialogue among them that was printed in a double issue of the journal Critical Review in 1995. This new book reproduces thirteen essays from the journal written by senior scholars in the field, along with an introduction by the editor of the journal, Jeffrey Friedman, and a rejoinder to the essays by Green and Shapiro. The scholars--who include John Ferejohn, Morris P. Fiorina, Stanley Kelley, Jr., Robert E. Lane, Peter C. Ordeshook, Norman Schofield, and Kenneth A. Shepsle--criticize, agree with, or build on the issues raised by Green and Shapiro`s critique. Together the essays provide an interesting and accessible way of focusing on competing approaches to the study of politics and the social sciences.
Category: Philosophy

Rational Choice And Security Studies

Author : Michael E. Brown
ISBN : 0262265257
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 81.14 MB
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Opposing views on the merits of formal rational choice approaches as they have been applied to international security studies. Formal theories and rational choice methods have become increasingly prominent in most social sciences in the past few decades. Proponents of formal theoretical approaches argue that these methods are more scientific and sophisticated than other approaches, and that formal methods have already generated significant theoretical progress. As more and more social scientists adopt formal theoretical approaches, critics have argued that these methods are flawed and that they should not become dominant in most social-science disciplines. Rational Choice and Security Studies presents opposing views on the merits of formal rational choice approaches as they have been applied in the subfield of international security studies. This volume includes Stephen Walt's article "Rigor or Rigor Mortis? Rational Choice and Security Studies," critical replies from prominent political scientists, and Walt's rejoinder to his critics. Walt argues that formal approaches have not led to creative new theoretical explanations, that they lack empirical support, and that they have contributed little to the analysis of important contemporary security problems. In their replies, proponents of rational choice approaches emphasize that formal methods are essential for achieving theoretical consistency and precision.
Category: Political Science

The Flight From Reality In The Human Sciences

Author : Ian Shapiro
ISBN : 9781400826902
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 86.85 MB
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In this captivating yet troubling book, Ian Shapiro offers a searing indictment of many influential practices in the social sciences and humanities today. Perhaps best known for his critique of rational choice theory, Shapiro expands his purview here. In discipline after discipline, he argues, scholars have fallen prey to inward-looking myopia that results from--and perpetuates--a flight from reality. In the method-driven academic culture we inhabit, argues Shapiro, researchers too often make display and refinement of their techniques the principal scholarly activity. The result is that they lose sight of the objects of their study. Pet theories and methodological blinders lead unwelcome facts to be ignored, sometimes not even perceived. The targets of Shapiro's critique include the law and economics movement, overzealous formal and statistical modeling, various reductive theories of human behavior, misguided conceptual analysis in political theory, and the Cambridge school of intellectual history. As an alternative to all of these, Shapiro makes a compelling case for problem-driven social research, rooted in a realist philosophy of science and an antireductionist view of social explanation. In the lucid--if biting--prose for which Shapiro is renowned, he explains why this requires greater critical attention to how problems are specified than is usually undertaken. He illustrates what is at stake for the study of power, democracy, law, and ideology, as well as in normative debates over rights, justice, freedom, virtue, and community. Shapiro answers many critics of his views along the way, securing his position as one of the distinctive social and political theorists of our time.
Category: Social Science

Rational Choice Theory

Author : Lina Eriksson
ISBN : 9780230343795
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 71.18 MB
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Few approaches in political science have generated so much controversy as rational choice theory. Some claim that the approach has made political science scientific. Its critics argue that it involves unrealistic assumptions about individual behaviour. While its tenets and benefits remain the subject of heated debate, rational choice theory is now established as a core approach in political science and one that is vital for contemporary students of the discipline to understand. With an impressive degree of clarity, the book introduces the philosophical foundations, the methodology and the key issues of rational choice theory. It shows how the approach has been constructively used to explain political phenomena and also reflects more broadly on how theories are developed and used in political science. Balanced and insightful, this important new text gives a nuanced and elegant evaluation of the potential and limits of rational choice theory.
Category: Political Science

Is Rational Choice Theory All Of Social Science

Author : Mark I. Lichbach
ISBN : 047202485X
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 89.80 MB
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Advocates of rational choice theory in political science have been perceived by their critics as attempting to establish an intellectual hegemony in contemporary social science, to the detriment of alternative methods of research. The debate has gained a nonacademic audience, hitting the pages of the New York Times and the New Republic. In the academy, the antagonists have expressed their views in books, journal articles, and at professional conferences. Mark I. Lichbach addresses the question of the place of rational choice theory in the social sciences in general and in political science in particular. He presents a typology of the antagonists as either rationalist, culturalist, or structuralist and offers an insightful examination of the debate. He reveals that the rationalist bid for hegemony and synthesis is rooted in the weaknesses, not the strengths, of rationalist thought. He concludes that the various theoretical camps are unlikely to accept the claimed superiority of the rationalist approach but that this opposition is of value in itself to the social sciences, which requires multiple perspectives to remain healthy. With its penetrating examination of the assumptions and basic arguments of each of the sides to this debate, this book cuts through the partisan rhetoric and provides an essential roadmap for the future of the discipline. Mark I. Lichbach is Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland.
Category: Political Science

Environmental Dilemmas And Policy Design

Author : Huib Pellikaan
ISBN : 0521627648
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 75.69 MB
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The authors argue that citizens are willing and able to contribute towards environmental protection.
Category: Business & Economics

Problems And Methods In The Study Of Politics

Author : Sterling Professor of Political Science and Henry R Luce Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies Ian Shapiro
ISBN : 0521539439
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 42.31 MB
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Prominent scholars of politics offer original discussions exploring what political science is and how it should be studied.
Category: Philosophy

The Social Sciences And Rationality

Author : Axel Van Den Berg
ISBN : 141283449X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 22.62 MB
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In recent decades, rational choice theory has emerged as the single most powerful, controversial claimant to provide a unified, theoretical framework for all the social sciences. In its simplest form, the theory postulates that humans are purposive beings who pursue their goals in a rational, efficient manner, seeking the greatest benefit at the lowest cost. This volume brings together prominent scholars working in several social science disciplines and the philosophy of science to debate the promise and problems of rational choice theory. As rational choice theory has spread from its home base in economics to other disciplines, it has come under fierce criticism. To its critics, the extension of the explanatory model mistakenly assumes that the logic of economic rationality can explain non-economic behavior and, at its worst, commits the ethnocentric error of imposing Western concepts of rationality on non-Western societies and cultures. This volume includes strong advocates as well as forceful critics of the rational choice approach. However, in contrast to previous debates, all the contributors share a commitment to open, constructive and knowledgeable dialogue. Well-known advocates of rational choice theory (Michael Hechter, Michael Smith, Chris Manfredi) explicitly ponder some of its serious limitations, while equally well-known critics (Ian Shapiro, Mario Bunge) strike a surprisingly conciliatory tone in contemplating its legitimate uses. Vociferous critics of neoclassical economics (Bunge) favorably discuss sociological proponents of rational choice theory while two economists who are not particularly anti-mainstream (Robin Rowley, George Grantham) critically assess the problems of such assumptions in their discipline. Philosophers (Storrs McCall) and sociologists (John Hall) alike reflect on the variable meaning of rationality in explaining social behavior. In the introduction and conclusion, the editors survey the current state of the debate and show how open, constructive dialogue enables us to move beyond hackneyed accusations and dismissals that have characterized much previous debate. Axel van den Berg is professor of sociology at McGill University in Montreal. He is the author of The Immanent Utopia: From Marxism on the State to the State of Marxism, available from Transaction. Hudson Meadwell is associate professor of political science at McGill University. He co-edited Politics and Rationality (1993).
Category: Social Science