The author utilizes empirical research from several theorists to explain how the debate and the criticisms have evolved with Rational-Choice Theory. Quackenbush strengthens his argument with a discussion regarding “three applications of rational choice theory in international relations and demonstrates ways that rational choice theorists themselves have potentially added to confusion about the assumption of rationality” (Quackenbush, p.2).
Quackenbush presents research from political science theorists such as Donald Green and Ian Shapiro, and Walt Friedman regarding rational choice theory but makes it abundantly clear that this model has been debated in other areas of social sciences. Green and Shapiro’s research of rational choice was conducted in the realm of American politics. Green and Shapiro concluded their research with evidence illustrating the rational choice model had not advanced the empirical study of politics as it had initially promised. Walt conducted a review of several formal rational choice works in an attempt to “demonstrate that they have yielded trivial results, have not been empirically tested, and that empirical tests, when used, have been constructed poorly” (Quackenbush, p. 2).
Quackenbush attempted to clarify the role of assumptions in rational choice theory. The empirical works of Green and Shapiro assisted Walt in proving that rational choice is not simply one theory but an approach to theory. An assessment of Quackenbush’s article, generally stated, may be the fact that rational choice theory theorizes that individuals use rationality to make choices and that individual theories are more of a concern than the rational choice model itself.
SUMMARY OF WORK
In exploratory rational choice’s record, Green and Shapiro paying attention entirely upon the extent to which theorists present empirical evidence about the ‘outside’ of an event: that is evidence. Evidence, on this view, consists in a ‘fit’ between the presumptions of rational choice theory and observed institutional or behavioral outcomes in any particular case. In what follows we will refer to empirical evidence of this sort as mortal ‘external’.
However, we argue that rational choice is also conciliation by its failure to provide kind of empirical evidence, namely ‘internal’ or interpretive evidence about the beliefs of the agents whose actions comprise the phenomena to be explained. Our distinction between external and internal evidence maps on to the well-known distinction between a behavioral and ultimately positivist conception of political science and a hermeneutic or interpretive one. Internal’s explanations do not claim access to private psychological states; they are ‘internal’ only in the sense of being internal to the world of meanings inhabited by the actor.
Monk-Hampsher and Hindmoor’s research does, however, assume the devil’s advocate role towards the end of the article demonstrating how the rational choice theory is valuable in circumstances in which interpretive evidence cannot be relied.