Representation of Political Processes
DOI link for Representation of Political Processes
Representation of Political Processes book
Judging an event such as the assassination of a national leader as the cause of a war commits the error of failing to see that an assassination, although perhaps a necessary condition for the outbreak of conflict, cannot be a sufficient condition: leaders must still decide between war and peace in light of their ultimate objectives, taking account of the responses of others to their actions, both in the international arena and domestically. Whether goals are obscure or self-evident, the assumption that goals motivate people’s actions is the engine driving our explanations of political events, and it is this assumption that leads us to explore the applicability to politics of the formalism associated with the rational choice paradigm. However, given the difficulties that often accompany the identification of a person’s goals, we should ask how we are to proceed with our analyses and modeling of politics.