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By Kenneth A. Shepsle

Examining Politics makes the basics of rational-choice concept available to undergraduates in transparent, nontechnical language.
Through case stories, illustrations, and examples, the writer presents scholars with the skill to investigate a large choice of events. the second one version has been completely revised to incorporate up-to-date situations and examples, new challenge units and dialogue questions, and new “Experimental Corner” sections on the finish of many chapters, describing experiments from social technological know-how literature.

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Read or Download Analyzing Politics: Rationality, Behavior, and Institutions (2nd Edition) (The New Institutionalism in American Politics Series) PDF

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Extra info for Analyzing Politics: Rationality, Behavior, and Institutions (2nd Edition) (The New Institutionalism in American Politics Series)

Example text

This was her first losing effort in a twenty-year political career. What would her next career step be? Talking heads and political insiders assumed that her close loss for governor in a year when circumstances favored Republicans would pro pel her candidacy for governor four years later—a rematch against Blunt, the only politician who had ever beaten her. However, there was the possibility of 2006. Jim Talent, the incumbent Republican senator was up for reelection. He had come to the Senate in the 2000 election cycle in a most peculiar way.

As noted, the rational choice is the alternative at the top of the ordering. Note that Pt and J. are exactly like > (greater than) and = (equal to), respectively, as applied to real numbers. For real numbers x and y, either x > y, or y > x, or x = y; hence, they are comparable. Similarly, for any three numbers, x, y, and z, if x > y and y > z, then x > z; and if x = y and y = z, then x = z; hence the relations are transitive. In consequence, real num bers can be ordered in terms of magnitude. ) This is all pretty simple.

An incumbent politician's choice to seek reelection against a "sacrificial" opponent is made under con ditions of (near) certainty. If, on the other hand, a person is not so confident that she knows what will happen, but never theless has a pretty clear sense of the possibihties and their likelihoods (if I turn the handle, there is a fifty-fifty chance that the door will open or be locked), she is operating under conditions of risk. Thus, McCaskiU's choice to oppose the in cumbent Jim Talent was a gamble made under conditions of risk.

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