Be Congruent with Reality Generally a model should be congruent with realit

Be congruent with reality generally a model should be

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Be Congruent with Reality Generally, a model should be congruent with realit that is, it ought to have real empirical referents. We would expect to have difficulty with a concept that identifies a process that does not really occur or symbolizes phenomena that do not exist in the real world. However, we must not be too quick to dismiss unrealistic concepts if they succeed in directing our attention to why they are unrealistic. For example, no one contends that govemment decision making is completely rational-public officials do not always act to maximize societal values and minimize societal costs" Yet the concept of rational decision making may stiil be useful, albeit unrealistic, if it makes us realize how irrational government decision making really is and prompts us to inquire why. 29
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I I 30 Chapter 2 Models of poLitics Provide Meaningful Communication A concept or model should also communicate something meaningful. If too many people disagree over the meaning of a concept, its utiliry in communication is diminished. For example, if noLne really agrees on what constitutes an elite, the concept of an elite does not mean the same thing to everyone. If one defines an elite as a group of democratically elected public offrcials who are repre- sen[ative of the general public, one is communicating a different idea in using the term than tne who defines an elite as an unrepresentative minoriry that makes decisions for society based on its own interests. Direct Inquiry and Research A model should help to direct inquiry and research into public policy. A concepr should be opera- tiona that is, it should refer directly to real-world phenomena that can be otserved, .easured, and verified. A concept, or a series of intenelated concepts (which we refer ro as a model), should s.ug9est relationships in the real world that can be tested and verified. If there is no way ro prove or disprove the ideas suggested by a concept, the concept is nor really useful in developing a science of politics. Suggest Explanations Finally, a model should suggest an explanation of public policy. it should suggest hypotheses about the causes and consequences of public polic yporheses thar can b. t.sted ,grinrt real-world data. A model that merely dcscnbes public policy is not as useful as one th^t r*pii^public policy, or at least suggests some possible explanations. Political science uses a variety of conceptual models to help explain political life and public policy. 1. The process model views policymaking as a series of political activities. 2" The irutitutional modelfocuses atrention on the effects of polirical and govemmenral institutions on public policy. 3. A rational model implies that govemment should choose policies that maximize societal gairu and minimize costs. 4. An incrementalmodel views public policy largely as a continuation of past govemment activities with only incremental modifications. 5. Group theory views public policy as the outcome of the struggle among societal groups. 6. The elite model views public policy as the preferences and values of the nations goveming elite.
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  • Fall '19
  • Prof. Madya Dr. Norhayati Binti Daud

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