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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Rational choice and American political development (APD) both emerged as responses to (perceived) limitations with the dominant behavioral tradition. While their critiques were based on very different research traditions, similarities were also present; in particular, both rational choice and APD approaches focused on the importance of institutions for studying political outcomes. Over time, rational choice and APD research has converged to a significant degree, as scholars in both traditions have increasingly been exposed to different theoretical and methodological perspectives and thus become consumers of each other’s work. This chapter documents how and why rational choice research has moved in an APD direction.

Keywords: rational choice, historical institutionalism, anti-behavioralism, equilibrium institutions, structures, rules, procedures, processes, defining American political development, methodological pluralism

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