Rationality and power

Rationality and power
Rationality and Power  
Author(s) Bent Flyvbjerg
Publisher The University of Chicago Press
Publication date 1998
ISBN 0226254518
OCLC Number 300447950
Dewey Decimal 320.4489/5 21
LC Classification JS6185.A53 F5913 1998

Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice is a book authored by Oxford University professor Bent Flyvbjerg and published by The University of Chicago Press (1998).[1] The book is a study of how power influences rationality and democracy. The book's theory and method build on a tradition in power studies that runs from Thucydides via Machiavelli to Nietzsche and Max Weber. The author explicitly acknowledges Machiavelli's studies of power in Florence as a source of influence for the choice of in-depth case studies to understand the dynamics of power and how power enables and constrains rationality and rational government. The research methodology employed in Rationality and Power is called phronetic social science and is described in detail in Flyvbjerg's (2001) book Making Social Science Matter.[2] This book set off the so-called Flyvbjerg Debate, a debate about what social science is and ought to be. Phronetic social science and the Flyvbjerg Debate are critically assessed in Schram and Caterino (2006 eds.).[3]

See also


  1. ^ Bent Flyvbjerg, Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice, The University of Chicago Press, 1998.
  2. ^ Bent Flyvbjerg, Making Social Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How It Can Succeed Again (Cambridge University Press, 2001) ISBN 0-521-77568-X
  3. ^ Sanford F. Schram and Brian Caterino, 2006 eds., Making Political Science Matter: Debating Knowledge, Research, and Method (New York: New York University Press).