What is formal theory or rational choice? In what way does the rational choice approach resemble an economic approach?
What does Downs mean when uses the term "rational?" In other words, how does a "rational man" act?
What does Downs (and economists) mean by "utility?"
According to Downs, what is the goal of a political party? How realistic are his assumptions about political parties?
How do people decide to vote according to Downs? (See also Morris Fiorina's Retrospective Voting for an expanded rational choice discussion of voting.)
Why should people bother to vote at all if one accepts rational choice conclusion that voting is irrational?
What are interest groups? What are different types of interest groups?
Why do people join interest groups?
What is the collective action problem? How do successful interest groups overcome it?
What are Green and Shapiro's criticisms of rational choice theory? How valid do you think their criticisms are?
According to Rothenberg, why do members join or leave interest groups?
What are different types of benefits that members can receive from interest groups? Which are more important in influencing the decision to join or leave an interest group according to Olson or Rothenberg?
What is Rothenberg's theory of "experiential search?"
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