Social Movements and the Rationality of Choice

Chapter

Abstract

The problem of collective action was discussed early on in the debate on social movements. From a rational choice perspective we cannot expect an actor to contribute to a public good. Social movements usually produce public goods and therefore it is a specific challenge to explain their existence from a rational choice perspective. Annette Schnabel reconstructs the debate and discusses proposed theoretical solutions within this paradigm, namely iteration, reputation, selected incentives, and threshold models. Future debates will have to address the role of movement aims and ideology, and the role of emotions. While the empirical importance of these aspects is undisputed, their theoretical role is unclear.

Keywords

Carbon Monoxide Expense Fishing Hate 

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heinrich-Heine-UniversitätDüsseldorfGermany

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