Formal theory (political science)
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Positive political theory (PPT) or explanatory political theory is the study of
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that stu ...

politics
using formal methods such as
social choice theory Social choice theory or social choice is a theoretical A theory is a rational type of abstract thinking about a phenomenon A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable fact or event. The term came into its modern philosophical usag ...
,
game theory Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interactions among Rational agent, rational agents.Roger B. Myerson, Myerson, Roger B. (1991). ''Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict,'' Harvard University Press, p.&nbs1 Chapter-preview ...
, and statistical analysis. In particular, social choice theoretic methods are often used to describe and (axiomatically) analyze the performance of rules or institutions. The outcomes of the rules or institutions described are then analyzed by game theory, where the individuals/parties/nations involved in a given interaction are modeled as ''rational'' agents playing a game, guided by self-interest. Based on this assumption, the outcome of the interactions can be predicted as an equilibrium of the game. The founder of the field was William H. Riker. In his book '' The Theory of Political Coalitions'' (1962), he applied the principles of
game theory Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interactions among Rational agent, rational agents.Roger B. Myerson, Myerson, Roger B. (1991). ''Game Theory: Analysis of Conflict,'' Harvard University Press, p.&nbs1 Chapter-preview ...
to the study of politics. Positive political theory has been used to study democratic institutions such as
political bargaining Public choice, or public choice theory, is "the use of economic An economy (; ) is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution and trade, as well as Consumption (economics), consumption of Goods ( ...
. PPT allows researchers to determine how outcomes of political bargaining differ based on whether political actors are equals or if power is unevenly distributed. PPT also permits the identification of institutional and contextual mechanisms that give some group members additional influence in determining collective outcomes. By focusing on the mechanisms, PPT also allows researchers to determine if outcomes are a result of asymmetric bargaining or deliberative persuasion.


See also

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Elite theory In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as ...
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Iron law of oligarchy The iron law of oligarchy is a political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In ...
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Public choice theory Public choice, or public choice theory, is "the use of economic An economy (; ) is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution and trade, as well as Consumption (economics), consumption of Goods ( ...
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Rational choice theory Rational choice theory, also known as theory of rational choice, choice theory or rational action theory, is a framework for understanding and often formally Model (abstract), modeling social and economic behavior. It dictates that every person, ...
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Social choice theory Social choice theory or social choice is a theoretical A theory is a rational type of abstract thinking about a phenomenon A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable fact or event. The term came into its modern philosophical usag ...
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Voting system An electoral system or voting system is a set of rules that determine how elections and referendums A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct and universal vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote ...
s * William H. Riker


References

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External links


Google scholar article list

The origins of positive political theory


with discussion of his contributions Subfields of political science {{polisci-stub