The Decisionist Imagination: Sovereignty, Social Science and Democracy in the 20th Century

A new edited volume, The Decisionist Imagination: Sovereignty, Social Science and Democracy in the 20th Century, on the emergence of decision theory in twentieth-century social science may be of interest to AHP readers. The volume, edited by Daniel Bessner and Nicolas Guilhot, is described as follows:

In the decades following World War II, the science of decision-making moved from the periphery to the center of transatlantic thought. The Decisionist Imagination explores how “decisionism” emerged from its origins in prewar political theory to become an object of intense social scientific inquiry in the new intellectual and institutional landscapes of the postwar era. By bringing together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines, this volume illuminates how theories of decision shaped numerous techno-scientific aspects of modern governance—helping to explain, in short, how we arrived at where we are today.


Introduction: Who Decides?
Daniel Bessner and Nicolas Guilhot

Chapter 1. Reading the International Mind: International Public Opinion in Early Twentieth Century Anglo-American Thought
Stephen Wertheim

Chapter 2. Militant Democracy as Decisionist Liberalism: Reason and power in the work of Karl Loewenstein
Carlo Invernizzi Accetti and Ian Zuckerman

Chapter 3. Parliamentary and Electoral Decisions as Political Acts
Kari Palonen

Chapter 4. Decision and Decisionism
Nomi Claire Lazar

Chapter 5. How Having Reasons became Making a Decision: The Cold War rise of decision theory and the invention of Rational Choice
Philip Mirowski

Chapter 6. Computable Rationality, NUTS, and the Nuclear Leviathan
S.M. Amadae

Chapter 7. The Unlikely Revolutionaries: Decision Sciences in the Soviet Government
Egl? Rindzevi?i?t?

Chapter 8. Prediction and social choice: Daniel Bell and future research
Jenny Andersson

Chapter 9. Predictive Algorithms and Criminal Sentencing
Angèle Christin

Conclusion: The Myth of the Decision

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.