"Rationalist theories of political behavior have recently risen in status to that of a new—or, more accurately, rediscovered—paradigm in the systematic study of politics. Brian Barry's short, provocative book played no small part in the debate that precipitated this shift. . . . Without reservation, Barry's treatise is the most lucid and most influential critique of two important, competing perspectives in political analysis: the 'sociological' school of Talcott Parsons, Gabriel Almond, and other so-called functionalists; and the 'economic' school of Anthony Downs and Mancur Olson, among others."—Dennis J. Encarnation, American Journal of Sociology
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