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Title: Political rationality
Author: Goodin, Robert E.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 1974
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This thesis investigates the political scientific implications of the postulate that political actors behave as if they were Rational (i.e., Economic) Men. The basic aim of the theoretical discussion is to explain both the existence and substance of norms of social cooperation. Rational Men would cooperate under special circumstances constituting a "coordination problem." Depending on the details of the situation, they would organize their cooperative efforts through either social processes of mutual adjustment or political-legal processes. The substance of the code of political morality Rational Men would embrace combines an Aggregative Principle that total goods available to society as a whole be maximized and a distributive Works Principle that each individual should prosper according to his own works. The results of this theoretical analysis are subjected to two extended empirical tests. The first is whether the Rational Man code of political morality corresponds in essential respects to the norms of political morality as revealed by linguistic analysis. The second test utilizes both of the theoretical arguments to explain the politics of environmental protection. The Rational Man model can explain the fact of pollution, the demand for governmental intervention, the opposition of some men to such inter- vention, the details of environmental protection laws and the shape of the international dispute.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Environmental policy ; Political ethics ; Political science