PATHOLOGIES OF RATIONAL CHOICE THEORY

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Pathologies Of Rational Choice Theory

Author : Donald Green
ISBN : 0300066368
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 48.83 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 : 54.35 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 : 34.95 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 : 61.81 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 : 20.76 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

Environmental Dilemmas And Policy Design

Author : Huib Pellikaan
ISBN : 0521627648
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 26.70 MB
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The authors argue that citizens are willing and able to contribute towards environmental protection.
Category: Business & Economics

The Social Sciences And Rationality

Author : Axel Van Den Berg
ISBN : 141283449X
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 63.6 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

The Sage Handbook Of European Union Politics

Author : Knud Erik Jørgensen
ISBN : 9781446206492
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 65.80 MB
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'This volume is one to which anyone trying to make sense of the EU of the early 21st century will return again and again. A terrific line-up that combines diverse talents from North America and Europe. Few books of this kind could live up to the billing 'definitive benchmark', but this one certainly does' - John Peterson, University of Edinburgh 'A most useful book that can be highly recommended. A strong analytical framework coupled with unparalleled coverage of the major issues of the political science research of the EU makes this volume a formidable tool for teaching and a significant input to new scholarly research. It is both relatively sophisticated and very accessible to graduate students and advanced researchers. The clear writing style and the richness of information presented will certainly make this book interesting for non-academic readers' - Igor Vidacak, Institute for International Relations, Zagreb - Journal of Common Market Studies 'An admirably comprehensive source book for those interested in how the tools of political science inspire EU area studies. The editors enlist leading researchers to synthesize the state of the art in their field of expertise. The Handbook of European Union Politics will be an indispensable intellectual resource for researchers, teachers, and graduate students of the European Union' - Liesbet Hooghe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA 'Presents an excellent overview of political science research on the EU. It finds the right balance between establishing the state of the art and pointing the reader to theoretical diversity. Highly recommended for advanced students and scholars looking for quick and solid orientation in a fragmented field - and for new ideas for research' - Frank Schimmelfennig, ETH Zurich, Switzerland 'This is a milestone in the study of EU politics. The authors include the most knowledgeable practitioners in the field, and collectively they provide a comprehensive and highly competent overview of the state of theory and research on EU institutions, politics and policies' - Fritz Scharpf, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Germany The European Union (EU) poses quite profound questions for scholars and students of the social and political sciences. This benchmark handbook is designed to: - provide an authoritative state-of-the art guide to the scope of the field suitable for both established scholars and students of the EU - reflect and contribute to the debates about the nature of the field of EU studies and EU politics in particular - explore in detail the development of the many approaches to the study of EU politics. Divided into four sections, the Handbook focuses on theorizing European integration; the EU as polity; politics and policy making in the EU; and the EU and the international system. Its appeal will reside not only in its comprehensive and authoritative coverage of the field, but also in the quality of its contributors, and the diversity of theoretical and methodological approaches included. The resulting volume is a 'must have' for all scholars and advanced students of the EU and European integration.
Category: Political Science

The Limits Of Public Choice

Author : Lars Udehn
ISBN : 9781134802036
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 85.22 MB
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Public choice has been one of the most important developments in the social sciences in the last twenty years. However there are many people who are frustrated by the uncritical importing of ideas from economics into political science. Public Choice uses both empirical evidence and theoretical analysis to argue that the economic theory of politics is limited in scope and fertility. In order to arrive at a more comprehensive understanding of political life, political scientists must learn from both economists and sociologists.
Category: Business & Economics