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The Reintegration of Political Science and Economics and the Presumed Imperialism of Economic Theory

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Ordeshook, Peter C.
Date: 1987
Agency: California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
Series: Social Science Working Papers, no. 655
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5844
Sector: Theory
Subject(s): economic theory
political science
rational choice theory
Abstract: "No discipline can claim a greater impact on contemporary political theorizing than that of economics, whether that theorizing concerns the study of legislatures, elections, international affairs, or judicial processes. This essay questions, however, whether this impact is a form of 'economic imperialism,' or the logical development of two disciplines whose artificial separation in the first part of this century merely allowed the development and refinement of the rational choice paradigm, unencumbered by the necessity for considering all of reality. Indeed, applications to specific substantive political matters -- most notably collective and cooperative processes where game theory proves most relevant -- reveal the paradigm's incompleteness. These applications, however, illuminate the necessary theoretical extensions, which is no longer the sole domain of the economist."

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