"Communal activities, with lots of emotional and symbolic content . . . serve a rational purpose, argues Michael Suk-Young Chwe. . . . [His] work, like his career, bridges several social sciences."
"A welcome addition. . . . Rational Ritual . . . can be understood and enjoyed by almost anyone interested in human interaction."
"A gem of an idea. . . . The originality of Chwe's thinking, and his courage in stepping over the boundaries of academic disciplines, deserve admiration."
"The relentless juggling of examples and ideas . . . illuminat[es] further new angles and connections."
"An innovative and broad-ranging book."
"Accessible to all readers. . . . The book's aim of understanding social systems through a combination of game theory and history provides substantial insight."
"This is a very compelling and original work. It is the best conceptual book I have read in economics in several years. It will have an immediate and enthusiastic readership in the social sciences and will make Chwe's name as an important thinker."
"Rational Ritual is engaging, well organized, and well written. It brings together the tools of game theory and the issues posed within a wide variety of areas of contemporary social theory to address an important problem. Students and scholars in diverse academic disciplines—including political science, sociology, anthropology, and some areas of cultural studies—will find the book both relevant and accessible."
"I find the author quite successful in his overall attempt to link rational individual behaviours (choosing the best action to attain a goal) with some that (like rituals) look prima facie irrational."