Models, theories and concepts as approaches for analysing policy and decision making have been developed by political and social scientists to guide the study of public policy, to facilitate communication and to suggest possible explanations for policy actions. This essay is a critique of the relevance of the systems model to the study of politics.
A model is conceptually defined as a theoretical representation of empirical data that aims to advance understanding through highlighting of significant relationships and interactions. According to Heywood (2007) one of the most influential models in political analysis is the Political system model developed by David Easton (1979, 1981) which aims to explain the entire political process including the functions of the major political actors through what is called systems analysis. A system is an organised and complex whole, a set of interrelated and interdependent parts that form a collective entity. Roskin, Cord, Medeiros & Jones (1997) concur that in the political systems model the politics of a given country worked the same way as a biological system. Here they were trying to emphasise the interrelationships and inter dependence likening it to the biological human body; how the various organs needed or related to each other and likening this to the political system. Systems theory is therefore the theory that treats the political system as a self regulating mechanism responding to inputs (demands and supports) by issuing authoritative decisions or outputs (policies).
David Easton’s model illustrated the existence of a linkage between inputs and outputs in a political system(Heywood, 2007). Inputs consist of demands and support from the general public and demands in a political system range from pressure for the need of a higher standard of living, improved employment opportunities, greater protection to minorities, improved social... [continues]
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