To begin, before we get to argue whether rational choice is more appropriate than symbolic politics, the two paradigms must be defined.
The rational choice paradigm is an extension of the realist perspective, arguing that we live in a self-help environment due to the anarchic world and the lack of impartial power. In this paradigm, the individual is considered to be rational and trying to maximize his utility (in this context, his security). Since war is costly, it is assumed that the preferred settlement of the conflict is by bargaining. In the same line of ideas, the realist perspective explains that it is possible to be rational while still miscalculating, as Jervis would argue. This is due mostly to failure of information on both sides of the conflict leading to... [continues]
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