Rational Choice Theory and New Institutionalism

Public Administration / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
The role of ideas and arguments in the policy process from the point of view of the “Rational Choice Theory” and “New Institutionalism”.

This paper focuses on New Institutionalism and Rational Choice Theory as applied to public policy-making in the developed and developing world. The United States, the UK, and the Caribbean region are explored when most of the assumptions of the two theories are implemented in the respective policy environments. This paper is excellent for those wanting to understand fully the two approaches and the various ways the behavior of policy factors in society can be explained and appraised. The paper shows how the force of the ideas and arguments behind these theories create opportunities and constraints for public policy-making in both the developed and developing world.
“Central to the existence of any policy-making process must be the role of ideas and arguments. Rational Choice Theory and New Institutionalism both attempt to assess, appraise, and even distinguish between types of decision-making occurring within differing settings, circumstances, situations and among individuals, groups or institutional frameworks as the case may be. Interestingly though paradoxically, ideas and arguments are quite critical to policy-making from the point of view of both New Institutionalism and Rational Choice Theory, despite attempts in certain parts or variations of both Theories, to dismantle or downplay the role of both ideas and arguments, respectively, in selecting policy methods.”


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