Methods and Models for Policy Analysis term paper

For the purpose to understand the topic better we are going to begin a consideration of methods of political analysis with a political model. The problem of modeling was investigated in the area of management in many details, in addition, exactly there was developed the definition of the concept of “model.” Thus, Rich (1994) understood the model as a representation of an object, system, or idea in a form different from integrity. This definition accurately shows the main feature of the model, and represents an object of research in a form different from the original, and thus entails a simplification of reality. As noted by Little (1994), the model is always easier to those phenomena which it displays or explains. Therein lies the essence of modeling and we facilitate the task of understanding the peculiarities of their functioning, presenting complex to analyze objects in a simple schematic form.

As a result, on the one hand, we do virtually create a representation of the object (the political system, or any single part – other than political system) at any form of analytical work (it can be political analysis or any attempt to formulate a political conception). But on the other hand, we do it often in the form of mental activity. Such a broad interpretation of the modeling can attribute virtually any form of constructive mental activity to this process, but it does not allow to show the mechanism of the modeling in a full degree. Therefore, we are going to cut off all their mental models from models deliberately and focus only on ”˜visible’ models.

According to Little (2004), researching different types of models, we can mention that there exist three main classes among the visible patterns: physical, mathematical and analog. The first types of models include enlarged or reduced copies of the object. It is obvious that it is difficult to find applications to physical types of models in politics; for example, a physical model of the presidential administration would look like the layout of the building in the Old Square, which has more architectural than political interest. Firstly, we are faced to a recurring problem situations in politics, which eliminate the routinization, and consequently, the formalization of the analytical process, and secondly, the analysis is directly connected with human activity, which is caused by too many determinants, where only other people are capable to identify and evaluate them because these determinants are not objective and subjective by their essence. The two politicians do not behave the same as two similar spheres and, therefore, it is impossible to simulate their behavior using formal logic, while in the case of spheres, this problem is very real because it is sufficient to consider the objective laws of the physical environment in which they operate.

The result is that the political model has analogue character in most cases. Analogue models present the object of study as a visible analogue that behaves like a real object, but does not appear as such. The most common form is the organizational chart of any political structures, such as the presidential administration.

In addition, matrices are also considered to be analogue models, but this method of political analysis needs additional explanation. The matrix method is usually used when there are several alternative solutions, and when the effectiveness of each variation depends on any additional circumstances where it is unknown which of them will occur in the future. For instance, payoff matrix allows to determine gain or loss (i.e., payment), which can bring the application of each of the possible solutions in the case of all possible circumstances.

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