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PLS 200 Prof. Charles W. Ostrom INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE Fall Semester 2003 WRITING ASSIGNMENT #1 [Due: 9/29] Go to the following web address: http://www.prisoncentral.org/Prisoncentral/MEP/Newsletter/April%202001/War%20on%20Drugs.htm Read the essay by Richard Althouse. Using his approach as an model, choose one of the Senge archetypes (e.g., Escalation, Fixes that Fail, Shifting the Burden), apply it to a public policy or political problem of your choice, and address the following questions in 2-3 page essay: 1. Identify the archetype and describe what is going on in each of the loops. 2. Use the archetype to explain what is happening in the context of your chosen problem or policy. 3. Provide a personal reaction to your explanation – how does it improve your understanding of the problem or policy? To supplement the Senge excerpt in the coursepack, I have attached a short discussion of the Senge models that he utilizes in his argument along with a discussion of some key Senge terminology. The assignment is due on September 29, 2003 . You may also search the web for examples of various applications of Senge-type models using key words such as: Senge, archetype, Shifting the Burden, Limits to Growth, Tragedy of the Commons, Fixes that Fail.
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Escalation An Escalation structure is composed of two balancing loops which interact in such a way as to create a single reinforcing loop. An increase in the Results of A Relative to B influences more Action by B . An increase in Action by B enhances B's Results . As B's Results increase it tends to reduce the Results of A Relative to B . This reduction tends to influence more Action by A . Additional Action by A increases A's Results . The increase in A's Results then increases the Results of A Relative to B , and the cycle then repeats. The above redrawn Escalation structure makes its reinforcing nature rather apparent. Fixes That Fail The Fixes That Fail structure consists of a balancing loop and a reinforcing loop. These two loops interact in such a way that the desired result initially produced by the balancing loop is, after some delay, offset by the actions of the reinforcing loop. The internal balancing loop operates in the standard balancing loop fashion. The
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