The rational choice approach to the study of politics involves the application of the method of economics to the study of politics. I will say more about this method in the following section. But two key assumptions which are of absolutely central importance to the rational choice approach ought to be immediately highlighted: rationality and self-interest. Whether analysing the creation of cabinet coalitions in Europe, the transition to democracy in Latin America, the origins of ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia, or the trading of campaign donations for policy favours in the United States, rational choice theorists assume that people can be relied upon to act in ways which best secure their goals and that these goals reflect their self-interest.
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