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“Relational goods” and participation: Incorporating sociability into a theory of rational action

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  • Carole Uhlaner

Abstract

Theoretical explanations of why rational individuals would participate in politics remain unsatisfactory. This paper addresses the problem by developing and analyzing models which include among citizens' payoffs “relational goods,” objectives which depend upon interactions among persons. The models predict more participation than do the standard approaches. For example, under some circumstances persons will be more likely to act if they believe others will act, contrary to free-rider logic. More importantly, conditions are identified under which leaders could increase mass activity. Thus, a model is provided of “mobilization” in terms of the preferences and decisions of a rational individual. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Suggested Citation

  • Carole Uhlaner, 1989. "“Relational goods” and participation: Incorporating sociability into a theory of rational action," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 62(3), pages 253-285, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:62:y:1989:i:3:p:253-285 DOI: 10.1007/BF02337745
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    1. repec:cup:apsrev:v:80:y:1986:i:04:p:1095-1111_18 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Granovetter, Mark & Soong, Roland, 1986. "Threshold models of interpersonal effects in consumer demand," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 83-99, March.
    3. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
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    5. repec:cup:apsrev:v:68:y:1974:i:02:p:525-536_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Eagles, Munroe & Erfle, Stephen, 1989. "Community Cohesion and Voter Turnout in English Parliamentary Constituencies," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(01), pages 115-125, January.
    7. Opp, Karl-Dieter, 1986. "Soft Incentives and Collective Action: Participation in the Anti-Nuclear Movement," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(01), pages 87-112, January.
    8. H. Leibenstein, 1950. "Bandwagon, Snob, and Veblen Effects in the Theory of Consumers' Demand," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 183-207.
    9. repec:cup:apsrev:v:69:y:1975:i:03:p:920-925_24 is not listed on IDEAS
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