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William Riker, in full William Harrison Riker, (born September 22, 1920, Des Moines, Iowa, U.
S.—died June 26, 1993, Rochester, New York), American political scientist who popularized the use of mathematical models, and in particular game theory, in the study of political behaviour.
Ian Shapiro, Stephen Skowronek, and Daniel Galvin (New York University Press, 2006)J. Nettl, "The State as a Conceptual Variable," World Politics 20:4 (July, 1968), 559-592. Novak, and Quentin Skinner, "The State," chapter 5 in Terence Ball, James Farr, and Russell L. Eric Nordlinger, On the Autonomy of the Democratic State (Harvard University Press, 1981) Roger Benjamin and Stephen L.
Theda Skocpol, "Bringing the State Back In," in Peter Evans, Theda Skocpol, and Dietrich Rueschemeyer, eds., Bringing the State Back In (Cambridge University Press, 1985), 3-37; see also Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China (Cambridge UP, 1979). Steinberger, The Idea of the State (Cambridge UP, 2004). Krasner, "Approaches to the State: Alternative Conceptions and Historical Dynamics," Comparative Politics (January, 1984): 223-246, and Stephen D. Hanson, Political Innovation and Conceptual Change (Cambridge University Press, 1989) Gianfranco Poggi, The Development of the Modern State: A Sociological Introduction (Hutchinson, 1978). Martin van Creveld, The Rise and Decline of the State (Cambridge UP, 1999) Hendrik Spruyt, The Sovereign State and Its Competitors (Princeton UP, 1994) S. Finer, The History of Government (Oxford UP, 1997): Vol. Elkin, eds., The Democratic State (University Press of Kansas, 1985).
Riker labeled his theory “positive political theory,” because it endeavoured to produce only statements that are falsifiable and can be empirically verified.
Riker’s scientific model of political behaviour is also known as a form of public choice theory, or rational choice theory, because it relies on the assumption that individuals base their decisions on their calculation of costs and benefits and their desire to maximize the latter.
After moving with his family to Indiana in 1932, Riker graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in 1938 and attended De Pauw University in Greencastle (B. Because of his country’s involvement in World War II, Riker decided to defer his graduate studies and joined the Radio Corporation of America (later RCA Corporation), which was closely involved in the war effort, as a time-and-motion analyst. In the same year, Riker joined the faculty of Lawrence College (now Lawrence University) in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he was granted tenure as a professor.
Karen Orren and Steve Skowronek, "The Study Of American Political Development," in Ira Katznelson and Helen Milner, eds., Political Science: The State of the Discipline (New York: W. Norton, 2002); and Karen Orren, and Stephen Skowronek, ' Beyond the Iconography of Order: Notes for a "New Institutionalism," in Lawrence C.
More precisely, Riker believed that all successful federal systems derive from two conditions.
On the one hand, politicians offering the federal bargain seek to increase the geographic territory under their control.
Krasner, "Sovereignty: An Institutional Perspective," Comparative Political Studies 21:1 (1988), pp. Bob Jessop, State Theory: Putting the Capitalist State in its Place (Penn State, 1991) Barbara Geddes, Politician's Dilemma: Building State Capacity in Latin America (University of California, 1994) [Rational choice analysis] George M. Meyer, “The Expansion of the State,” Annual Review of Sociology 10 (1984): 461-482 Nicos Poulantzas, "The Problem of the Capitalist State,"New Left Review, 58 (1969): 67-78 Ralph Miliband, The State and Capitalist Society (Quartet, 1969).
Fred Block, "The Ruling Class Does Not Rule," Socialist Revolution 7:3 (1977): 6-28.
As a professor and department chair, Riker transformed Rochester’s political science department into a flagship of positive political theory, a term he coined to describe his approach, which aimed to produce empirically verifiable theories of political behaviour.