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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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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Some Further Thoughts on Power

Some Further Thoughts on Power

(p.173) 9 Some Further Thoughts on Power
Rational Choice and Political Power

Keith Dowding

Policy Press

The first of the new retrospective chapters briefly considers now the author would have presented some of the arguments differently now. It then re-examines the central argument of the book that we can understand the dilemmas of power through the lens of the collective action problem. It considers Ann Cudd’s argument about how collective action lock in suboptimal choices for oppressed groups such as women and defend that account against the criticisms of Amy Allen arguing that Allen has a limited understanding of rational choice. We require two different sorts of models one directed at preference formation, and one at the specific choice situation people are in. Utilizing different models at different levels of granularity of explanation can provide the fuller explanations Allen desires. The chapter then re-examines the resources account filling in some empirical details of how we look at resources within the five abstract categories. It then provides an account of when persuasion is coercive and when not both in terms of reasons and in terms of the emotional intensity. It thus helps explain the power of language.

Keywords:   collective action, gender and power, rational choice theory, emotions, persuasion

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