Rational choice

There’s rational choice institutionalism (possibly the earliest of the ‘new institutionalisms’.) There’s bounded rationality etc.

rational choice does not offer solutions for all cases and contexts. It is better at explaining outcomes when preferences are settled; it finds it harder to explain where those preferences come from and why they should change. Thus it becomes part of the analysis of public policy without being all encompassing: an essential part of the toolkit of political scientists, ready to apply to certain contexts, such as coalition building, for example, which provide testable hypotheses.

(John, 2003: 485)

John, P. (2003) Is There Life After Policy Streams, Advocacy Coalitions, and Punctuations: Using Evolutionary Theory to Explain Policy Change? The Policy Studies Journal, Vol. 31, No 4

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