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The transactive rationality model
The rhythm of situations provides a template for the transactive
rationality model, as depicted in Fig. 3.
In the transactive rationality model (Fig. 3), “communities
of inquiry” form a dynamic boundary around an indeterminate
situation and determine and demarcate a policy problem.
The title of this article claimed: “there is no ‘point’ in
decision-making.” In contrast to the linear rational model
(Fig. 1), the transactive rationality model (Fig. 3)
shows that decision-making is not a fixed central point that
separates pre-defined ends and inquiry phases from subsequent
implementation and evaluation phases.
Kuruvilla, Shyama; Dorstewitz, PhilippJournal: Policy Sciences
Issue 3DOI: 10.1007/s11077-009-9098-yPublished: 2010-08-09Institution(s):
Boston University, Maastricht University
The hope that policy-making is a rational process lies at the heart of policy science and democratic practice. However, what constitutes rationality is not clear. In policy deliberations, scientific, democratic, moral, and ecological concerns are often at odds. Harold Lasswell, in instituting the contemporary policy sciences, found that John Dewey’s pragmatist philosophy provided an integrative foundation that took into account all these considerations. As the policy sciences developed with a predominantly empirical focus on discrete aspects of policy-making, this holistic perspective was lost for a while. Contemporary theorists are reclaiming pragmatist philosophy as a framework for public policy and administration. In this article, key postulates of pragmatist philosophy are transposed to policy science by developing a new theoretical model of transactive rationality. This model is developed in light of current policy analyses, and against the backdrop of three classical policy science theories of rationality: linear and bounded rationalism; incrementalism; and mixed-scanning. Transactive rationality is a “fourth approach” that, by integrating scientific, democratic, moral, and ecological considerations, serves as a more holistic, explanatory, and normative guide for public policy and democratic practice.
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