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Veto Bargaining: Presidents and the Politics of Negative Power (Political Economy of Institutions and Decisions)
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Unfortunately, a large chunk of the book is focused upon a truly awful defense of rational choice theory. Let me be honest: I believe that rational choice theory is a flawed but useful way to observe political actors and their decisions. It is prone to the fact that many people act against their own interests all the time, and arguments that attempt to create a single motivation for all political actors in a certain position are often too vulnerable to attack to be accepted as true. However, when used in "broad strokes" for specific actors or specific institutions, and when it avoids making these flawed arguments about single motivations, it typically works reasonably well.
Chapter 3 presents one of the most inane defenses of the subject that I have ever read. Rational choice theory is hardly as controversial as the author seems to think it is, and I found the vitriolic language he used defending it to be borderline insane. It is hardly a broad leap to claim that many individuals act against their own goods, and I did not appreciate being compared to the cardinal who refused to look through Galileo's telescope for considering it a flaw in rational choice theory.Read more ›