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A New Handbook of Political Science$
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Robert E. Goodin and Hans-Dieter Klingemann

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294719

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294719.001.0001

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Political Economy: Sociological Perspectives

Political Economy: Sociological Perspectives

(p.675) Chapter 29 Political Economy: Sociological Perspectives
A New Handbook of Political Science

Claus Offe

Oxford University Press

As paradigms conflict, so the fields of political economy and sociology conflict, yet they also cross‐fertilize. Reviews the contribution of political economy to sociology and vice versa, pointing to the social determinants and contextualization of rational utility maximizers and the contribution of sociology to political economy. While some social phenomena may be explained by rational choice, the marriage is uncomfortable, most specifically in the areas yet untouched by rational theory, and by the potential for the detrimental impact of rational utility maximizers upon the social.

Keywords:   political economy, rational choice, sociology, utility maximization

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