Rational Choice and Security Studies: Stephen Walt and His Critics / Edition 1

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Overview

Formal theories and rational choice methods have become increasingly prominent in most social sciences in the past few decades. Proponents of formal theoretical approaches argue that these methods are more scientific and sophisticated than other approaches, and that formal methods have already generated significant theoretical progress. As more and more social scientists adopt formal theoretical approaches, critics have argued that these methods are flawed and that they should not become dominant in most social-science disciplines.Rational Choice and Security Studies presents opposing views on the merits of formal rational choice approaches as they have been applied in the subfield of international security studies. This volume includes Stephen Walt's article
"Rigor or Rigor Mortis? Rational Choice and Security Studies," critical replies from prominent political scientists, and Walt's rejoinder to his critics.Walt argues that formal approaches have not led to creative new theoretical explanations, that they lack empirical support, and that they have contributed little to the analysis of important contemporary security problems. In their replies, proponents of rational choice approaches emphasize that formal methods are essential for achieving theoretical consistency and precision.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262522755
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 7/24/2000
  • Series: International Organization Readers Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael E. Brown is Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington
University.

Owen Coté is Associate Director of the MIT Security Studies Program and Editor of the journal
International Security.

Sean M. Lynn-Jones is Editor of International Security, the International
Security Program's quarterly journal. He is also series editor of the Belfer Center Studies in
International Security, the Program's book series that is published by MIT Press.

Steven E. Miller is Editor-in-chief of International Security and Director of the International Security Program at the Belfer Center.

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Table of Contents

The Contributors
Acknowledgments
Preface
Sean M. Lynn-Jones
Rigor or Rigor Mortis? Rational Choice and Security
Studies
Stephen M. Walt
Sorting Through the Wealth of Notions
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and James D. Morrow
The Contributions of Rational Choice: A Defense of Pluralism
Lisa L. Martin
Return of the Luddites
Emerson M.S. Niou and Peter D. Ordeshook
The Modeling Enterprise and Security Studies
Robert Powell
All Mortis, No Rigor
Frank C. Zagare
A Model Disagreement
Stephen M. Walt
Suggestions for Further Reading
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