New book: ‘The Social Construction of Rationality’

A new book of Associate Professor Onno Bouwmeester “The Social Construction of Rationality: Policy Debates and the Power of Good Reasons” is published by Routledge.

04-04-2017 | 13:49

Book: The Social Construction of RationalityThis book shows that not one, but three different forms of rationality (expressive, social and instrumental) determine the final outcomes of strategic decisions executed by major organizations.
Based on an argumentation analysis of six high-profile public debates, this book adds nuance to the concept of bounded rationality. The chapters show how it is socially constructed, and thus dependent on shared beliefs or knowledge, institutional context and personal interests.

Three double case studies investigating the three rationalities illustrate how decision makers and stakeholders discuss the appropriateness of these rationalities for making decisions in different practice contexts (more subjective, social or objective).

• The first touches more on personal concerns, like wearing a niqab or looking at obscene art exposed in a public environment;
• The second investigates debates on improving the rights and position of specific minorities;
• The third is based on the agreement on instrumental reasons for two kinds of investments, but the cost arguments are regarded less relevant when social norms or personal interests are violated.

The Social Construction of Rationality is for those who study political economy, economic psychology and public policy, as well as economic theory and philosophy.

The book will be presented on Thursday 11 May at the Vrije Universiteit

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