Collective Action

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Routledge, Dec 3, 2015 - Political Science - 268 pages
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Public choice, an important subdiscipline in the field of political theory, seeks to understand how people and societies make decisions affecting their collective lives. Relying heavily on theoretical models of decision making, public choice postulates that people act in their individual interests in making collective decisions. As it happens, however, reality does not mirror theory, and people often act contrary to what the principal public choice models suggest. In this book, Russell Hardin looks beyond the models to find out why people choose to act together in situations that the models find quite hopeless. He uses three constructs of modern political economy--public goods, the Prisoner's Dilemma, and game theory--to test public choice theories against real world examples of collective action. These include movements important in American society in the past few decades--civil rights, the Vietnam War, women's rights, and environmental concerns. This classic work on public choice will be of interest to theoreticians and graduate students in the fields of public choice, political economy, or political theory--and to those in other disciplines who are concerned with the problem of collective action in social contexts.
 

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Contents

FOREWORD
INTRODUCTION
THE BACK OF THE INVISIBLE HAND
COLLECTIVE ACTION AND PRISONERS DILEMMA
GROUP SIZE
TYPES OF COLLECTIVE ACTION PROBLEMS
ASYMMETRIES IN COLLECTIVE ACTION
CONTRACTARIAN PROVISIONS
RATIONALITY IN THE PRISONERS DILEMMA
CONTRACT BY CONVENTION
ENFORCEMENT OF CONVENTIONS
LIMITS TO CONTRACT BY CONVENTION
CONTRACT BY CONVENTION IN SOCIAL THEORY
CONTRACT BY CONVENTION IN POLITICS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
INDEX

EXTRARATIONAL MOTIVATIONS
DYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF COLLECTIVE ACTION

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About the author (2015)

Russell Hardin is professor of politics at New York University. His recent books include Indeterminacy and Society and Trust and Trustworthiness.

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