The research reported here forms part of the UK Economic and Social Research Council's Local Governance Research Programme, and is supported by Grant number L311253008. Keith Dowding was Hallsworth Fellow at Manchester University during the redrafting of this paper.
Rational Choice and Community Power Structures1
Article first published online: 22 DEC 2006
Volume 43, Issue 2, pages 265–277, June 1995
How to Cite
Dowding, K., Dunleavy, P., King, D. and Margetts, H. (1995), Rational Choice and Community Power Structures1. Political Studies, 43: 265–277. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9248.1995.tb01711.x
- Issue published online: 22 DEC 2006
- Article first published online: 22 DEC 2006
- (First submitted: 23 February 1994; Finally accepted: 30 May 1994)
The community power debate concluded with each side believing they had won. Political theorists have generalized power, making empirical investigation very difficult; urban scholars have turned their attention to more manageable empirical problems. Rational choice advances the debate, exposing the errors of all sides and facilitating a new approach which transcends structural versus individualist methods. By separating various aspects of power in urban contexts, complementary techniques such as network analysis in a bargaining framework, semi-structured interviewing and the use of text databases permits a comprehensive investigation of agenda-setting and the mobilization of bias. The paper demonstrates the utility of this approach by comparing it to ‘regime theory’, the latest paradigm of urban research.