Much of this week's material focused on the defining characteristics of political systems. Adolino and Blake's "Comparing Public Policies" article analyzed political systems more practically, describing the visible characteristics and components of political systems, using six industrialized countries as models. Easton's "An Approach to the Analysis of Political Systems" uses a theoretical model to more generally explain the underling flow of inputs and outputs that constitute a political system and its policy decisions. The two articles demonstrate the varied systems that industrialized countries have employed in order to respond to the demands of the people (a political system input). In order to further analyze the intersection of these articles, it would be beneficial to fit Easton's model to Adolino and Blake's reviewed countries and identified political system components, in order to better understand the priorities that underlie a country's method for decision-making.
Easton explains a "feedback" loop in political systems. This feedback loop describes the influence of the people on political systems and political systems on people. Adolino and Blake's article lacks a lens that portrays this feedback dynamic, which would help to further analyze why these differences in political systems exist. These feedback loops demonstrate mutual influence, namely, people demand certain things from their political system, but the political system has also shaped what the people expect from their political system by either succeeding or failing to meet certain demands. Some of the primary characteristics in Adolino and Blake's comparison of political systems include: two-party versus multi-party systems, pluralism versus corporatism, more social insurance versus less and more government regulation in the market versus less. What are some of the underlying government priorities, public expectations and political structure characteristics that act in the feedback loops found in the various political systems of these countries?
For example, an extensive social insurance program would suggest that the majority of people don't mind large government for the promotion of social responsibility. There is also a likely feedback loop since government has successfully administered social support programs that reinforce people's desire for government's involvement in this area. If the government responds to these demands with social insurance, the implementation of these programs will depend on the overarching political structure of the country. Countries that have prioritized uniform program implementation often have strong federal structures that would administer the social insurance programs.