Cover of Politics from Anarchy to Democracy by Edited by Irwin L. Morris, Joe A. Oppenheimer, and Karol Edward Soltan
Politics from Anarchy to Democracy
Rational Choice in Political Science
Edited by Irwin L. Morris, Joe A. Oppenheimer, and Karol Edward Soltan

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2004
256 pages.
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Cloth ISBN: 9780804745833
Paper ISBN: 9780804745840

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Although the study of politics dates to ancient Greece, the basic questions that interested those earliest political scientists still linger with us today: What are the origins of government? What should government do? What conditions foster effective governance? Rational choice theory offers a new means for developing correctable answers to these questions.

This volume illustrates the promise of rational choice theory and demonstrates how theory can help us develop interesting, fresh conclusions about the fundamental processes of politics. Each of the book’s three sections begins with a pedagogical overview that is accessible to those with little knowledge of rational choice theory. The first group of essays then discusses various ways in which rational choice contributes to our understanding of the foundations of government. The second set focuses on the contributions of rational choice theory to institutional analysis. The final group demonstrates ways in which rational choice theory helps to understand the character of popular government.

About the author

The editors are all affiliated with the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland where Irwin L. Morris is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Joe A. Oppenheimer is Professor and Director of the University's Collective Choice Center, and Karol Edward Soltan is Associate Professor.