Preferences and Situations: Points of Intersections Between Historical and Rational Choice Institutionalism

Preferences and Situations: Points of Intersections Between Historical and Rational Choice Institutionalism

by Ira Katznelson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0871544415

ISBN-13: 9780871544414

Pub. Date: 09/28/2005

Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation

A scholarly gulf has tended to divide historians, political scientists, and social movement theorists on how people develop and act on their preferences. Rational choice scholars assumed that people—regardless of the time and place in which they live—try to achieve certain goals, like maximizing their personal wealth or power. In contrast, comparative

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Overview

A scholarly gulf has tended to divide historians, political scientists, and social movement theorists on how people develop and act on their preferences. Rational choice scholars assumed that people—regardless of the time and place in which they live—try to achieve certain goals, like maximizing their personal wealth or power. In contrast, comparative historical scholars have emphasized historical context in explaining people’s behavior. Recently, a common emphasis on how institutions—such as unions or governments—influence people’s preferences in particular situations has emerged, promising to narrow the divide between the two intellectual camps. In Preferences and Situations, editors Ira Katnelson and Barry Weingast seek to expand that common ground by bringing together an esteemed group of contributors to address the ways in which institutions, in their wider historical setting, induce people to behave in certain ways and steer the course of history.

The contributors examine a diverse group of topics to assess the role that institutions play in shaping people’s preferences and decision-making. For example, Margaret Levi studies two labor unions to determine how organizational preferences are established. She discusses how the individual preferences of leaders crystallize and become cemented into an institutional culture through formal rules and informal communication. To explore how preferences alter with time, David Brady, John Ferejohn, and Jeremy Pope examine why civil rights legislation that failed to garner sufficient support in previous decades came to pass Congress in 1964. Ira Katznelson reaches back to the 13th century to discuss how the institutional development of Parliament after the signing of the Magna Carta led King Edward I to reframe the view of the British crown toward Jews and expel them in 1290.

The essays in this book focus on preference formation and change, revealing a great deal of overlap between two schools of thought that were previously considered mutually exclusive. Though the scholarly debate over the merits of historical versus rational choice institutionalism will surely rage on, Preferences and Situations reveals how each field can be enriched by the other.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871544414
Publisher:
Russell Sage Foundation
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
353
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1Intersections between historical and rational choice institutionalism1
Ch. 2A cross of gold, a crown of thorns : preferences and decisions in the 1896 Democratic National Convention27
Ch. 3Congress and civil rights policy : an examination of endogenous preferences62
Ch. 4"To give counsel and to consent" : why the King (Edward I) expelled his Jews (in 1290)88
Ch. 5Preference formation as a political process : the case of monetary union in Europe129
Ch. 6Persuasion, preference change, and critical junctures : the microfoundations of a macroscopic concept161
Ch. 7Endogenous preferences about courts : a theory of judicial state building in the nineteenth century185
Ch. 8Inducing preferences within organizations : the case of unions219
Ch. 9Preference formation in transitional justice247
Ch. 10What the politics of enfranchisement can tell us about how rational choice theorists study institutions279
Ch. 11Combining institutionalisms : liberal choices and political trajectories in Central America313

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