Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Rational Actor Models in Political Science

Contents:

Author Info

  • Vani K. Borooah

    ()

Abstract

There can be little doubt that Rational Choice Theory (RCT) - with its emphasis on the 'instrumentally rational' individual as the foundation of the political process - has significantly enhanced the scope of political science. This paper details many of the areas of political science in which our understanding of events has been significantly enhanced by the application of RCT. But, in the end, RCT in political science raises the same questions that it does in economics. These essentially stem from the fact that for RCT, whether in economics or in political science, choice and preference are regarded as synonymous. In consequence, as Amartya Sen has pointed out, no attention is paid to the motivation underlying an action. As Leif Johansen - one of the giants of public sector economics - expressed it: "economic theory in this, as well as in some other fields, tends to suggest that people are honest only to the extent they have economic incentives for being so. This is a homo economicus assumption which is far from being obviously true". In RCT models, a person is given one preference ordering and, when all is said and done, this preference ordering represents his Weltanschauung. Can one preference ordering do all this? The argument of this paper is that no society can be viable without some norms and rules of conduct. Such norms and rules are necessary for viability in fields where strict economic incentives are absent and cannot be created.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.icer.it/docs/wp2002/borooah20-02.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 20-2002.

as in new window
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:20-2002

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Viale Settimio Severo, 63 - 10133 Torino - Italy
Phone: +39 011 6604828
Fax: +39 011 6600082
Email:
Web page: http://www.icer.it
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:20-2002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alessandra Calosso).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.