Rational Model Actions are chosen by the national government to maximize attainment of state’s objectives.
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Actions are chosen by the national government to maximize attainment of state’s objectives.
Assumptions: State is a unitary, rational actor; has a clear set of goals; determines policy alternatives; weighs those rationally in terms of cost and benefit; selects the action that produces the best outcome at the least cost.
Often most clearly evident in crisis decision-making at this highest levels with few actors taking part.
Fits with a realist conception of international relations, just one national interest, state can act to achieve.
A lot of decisions may not be made at the highest level by “the decider.”
May be made by departments or ministries down the line.
Bureaucratic model stresses sub-group bargaining, “where you stand is where you sit.” But also difficulties of coordinating across agencies (9/11).
Organizational model stresses standard operating procedures (SOPs Cuban missile crisis), organizational cultures (worldviews, educations, and interests of bureaucrats in determining priorities), “satisficing” (adequate rather than optimal).
Often most clear in non-crisis decision-making when time is relatively elastic.
Fits well with a liberal perspective of international relations where nation is a field not a solitary unit.