Economic Methods in Positive Political Theory

David Austen-Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548477
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577437 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Economic Methods in Positive Political Theory

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Political Economy
  • Comparative Politics


Show Summary Details


This article focuses on economic methods in political science, specifically on positive political theory. It provides a sketch of the two canonical approaches to developing a positive political theory: collective preference theory and game theory. It is argued that these two techniques are distinguished by their trade-offs, despite having some clear formal differences. The article also considers other specific techniques within the game-theoretic approach, which are designed to accommodate two important analytical characteristics that are distinctive to political science.

Keywords: economic methods; positive political theory; canonical approaches; collective preference theory; game theory; game-theoretic approach; analytical characteristics

Article.  7895 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy ; Comparative Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.