Tag Archives: intergroup emotions theory

Getting Emotional and Acting Rationally: The Relationship between Emotion, Identity, and Collective Action

By Eric Groenendyk

In the first half of the 20th Century, pluralism and related group theories were a major force—if not a dominant force—in political science.  Politics was viewed as a clash between pressure groups that would arise naturally in pursuit of shared interests.  However, everything changed after Mancur Olson (1965) pointed out the inherent flaw in this logic.  From a purely rational standpoint, individuals may share the desire to attain a public good—be it clean air, food safety regulation, or even democracy itself—yet, because public goods are non-divisible, each individual has an incentive to free-ride.  According to Olson, this was why, as Schattschneider (1960) had already pointed out, large public interests seemed to lose out to narrower “special” interests. Continue reading

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