Empirical and Mathematical Reasoning-13: Analyzing Politics





A commonsensical survey of rational theories of politics, comprised of four segments: (1) individual choice, (2) group choice, (3) collective action, and (4) institutions. The underlying theme is that politics may be described and understood in terms of rational, goal-seeking behavior by citizens, politicians, bureaucrats, and interest groups in various institutional settings. Students are encouraged to think deeply and with sophistication about current events, history, and public life generally, as well as to analyze the politics of private life-in families, clubs, firms, churches, universities, even Harvard Houses-since private politics, like public politics, may be understood in terms of rational behavior.

See also: social analysis