Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Economic Theories of Politics
James F. Hollifield & Hiroki Takeuchi
Economic theories of politics use theoretical approaches from economics to analyze political phenomena. This entry examines assumptions about rational choice that are shared by the two fields and discusses the application of rational choice approaches, including game theory, to the analysis of individual choice and strategic interactions. It then considers the way in which social choice theory can illuminate the aggregation of individual choices in collective decision making. The relationship of such processes to voting, particularly in the context of democracy, is described. Finally, the entry looks at the application of economic theories to international relations with respect to issues such as arms races, war, development, and trade. Most political scientists would agree that politics involves “control, influence, power, or authority.” If one adds Max Weber's concerns about government, legitimacy, and the state, together with Aristotle's more normative focus on issues of participation, citizenship, and justice, one has a fairly ...