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Rational Choice and Political Power$
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Keith Dowding

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781529206333

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529206333.001.0001

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(p.159) 8 Conclusions
Rational Choice and Political Power

Keith Dowding

Policy Press

The chapter explains that political power is fundamental to politics and thus of foremost interest to those interested in political science and political theory. Power is implicated in causation but is more problematic as it concerns the capacities of agents and how they choose to wield them. The chapter discusses the contestability of concepts and dismisses those who think that power cannot be analysed since it is essentially contested concept. It utilizes what has become known as the subscript gambit to overcome the contestability of concepts. It argues we need not think concepts are contested even though we acknowledge that there is social normative pluralism. It concludes by arguing that the lens of rational choice is the most useful tool for understanding the concept of power and providing tools for analysing it in concrete political situations

Keywords:   essential contestability, subscript gambit, value pluralism

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