Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory: A Critique of Applications in Political Science
This is the first comprehensive critical evaluation of the use of rational choice explanations in political science. Writing in an accessible and nontechnical style, Donald P. Green and Ian Shapiro assess rational choice theory where it is reputed to be most successful: the study of collective action, the behavior of political parties and politicians, and such phenomena as...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published September 10th 1996 by Yale University Press
(first published September 28th 1994)
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While I understand that the theories posited in this piece are integral to understanding the basis of game theory, I still think it's missing a bigger picture associated with causality. Now the reality is this book got 3.5 stars because it addressed this issue in the final chapters. However, the failure to frame this book around what this type of analysis can and can not do, was my real problem. The conclusions are quite false of one takes the book at its word without that ever important last ch...more
An attack on rational choice theory, and while it's a fast read, the book relies on a number of straw-men arguments. An over-reliance on the assumption of rational behavior will certainly lead to inaccurate models in some cases, but the version of rational choice theory presented here is so stilted as to be almost unrecognizable to the actual practitioners of rational choice theory.