Politics and Rationality: Rational Choice in Application

Rational choice approaches to the study of politics are of great and growing prominence in political science. There are an increasing number of collections devoted to the methods of rational choice theory and specialised monographs applying it to individual topics. The present volume is unique in that it is a collection of substantive applications of rational choice theory in three of the main fields of political inquiry: comparative politics, international relations and political theory. The essays gathered here represent work by many of the most outstanding scholars in the discipline, showing how rational choice theory may be employed in the analysis of fundamental political questions.

• Applies rational choice theory to three key fields of political enquiry • Contributors are all leading scholars in the field • Wide area of study highlights strong interest in related subjects


Introduction; Part I. Political Theory: 1. Liberty and social choice Amartya Sen; 2. The contractarian explanation of the state Jean Hampton; 3. Marx’s two logics of capitalism William James Booth; Part II. Comparative Politics; 4. Structure, culture and action in the explanation of social change Michael Taylor; 5. Wage negotiations and strikes: an equilibrium analysis Peter Lange and George Tsebelis; 6. A game theoretic model of reform in Latin American democracies Barbara Geddes; 7. Transitions to independence and ethnic nationalist mobilisation Hudson Meadwell; Part III. International Politics: 8. Economic nationalism and economic progress Mancur Olson; 9. Comparative advantage and public security perceptions in western alliance security policies Mark A. Boyer; 10. Mediators, allies and opportunities: third parties in international crises T. Clifton Morgan; 11. Rational choice in the crisis domain: an appraisal of superpower interactions, 1948–1979 Patrick James.

Nøkkelord: Sosiologi Politikk Politisk sosiologi