Rational Choice Theory

Rational Choice Theory - The Rationalist Approach Rational...

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The Rationalist Approach Rational Choice “Theory” & Comparative Politics
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Origins of Rational Choice “Theory” RCT originated in the discipline of  economics Its intellectual roots can be traced  back to… The writings of Adam Smith British utilitarianism E.g., Jeremy Bentham & John Stuart Mill
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Origins of Rational Choice “Theory” RCT became the core of economic  theory in the late 19 th  century Neoclassical economics Alfred Marshall Principles of Economics (1890) Microeconomics Supply & demand Consumer & producer surplus Marginalist revolution
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RCT in Political Science RCT began making inroads in the  study of politics in the 1950s and  1960s It has been especially influential in  the study of American politics Kenneth Arrow,  Social Choice &  Individual Values  (1951) Anthony Downs,  An Economic Theory  of Democracy  (1957)
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RCT Classics William H. Riker,  The Theory of  Political Coalitions  (1962) James Buchanan & Gordon  Tullock,  The Calculus of  Consent  (1962) Mancur Olson,  The Logic of  Collective Action  (1965)
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RCT in Political Science RCT has also enjoyed a  prominent place in the field of  international relations However, RCT has only recently  infiltrated the field of  comparative politics, becoming a  prominent approach in the 1990s Hans Morgenthau Politics Among Nations  (1948)
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What Does it Mean to be a Rational Actor? Bianco:  A rational actor always makes  decisions that are consistent with his  or her goals (or  preferences ) Humans are motivated & act to maximize  those outcomes they value most Utility maximization
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What Does it Mean to be a Rational Actor?
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