Cover: Systems Analysis and the Political Process

Systems Analysis and the Political Process

Published 1967

by James R. Schlesinger

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An evaluation of the role for systems analysis in a highly political environment. Four aspects are considered: (1) general limitations; (2) the relevance of the experience in the Department of Defense; (3) bureaucratic problems in a wider compass; and (4) what systems analysis can accomplish. The Department of Defense, in contrast to other components of the bureaucracy, is so structured that the introduction of systems analysis and program budgeting was relatively easy. However, in the more politicized environment of the covilian; programs, the DOD experience may prove to be a rather inexact model for what will actually take place. Nevertheless, systems analysis, in sharpening and educating the judgments and intuitions of those making decisions, will begin to reshape the way that agencies view their problems. By introducing numbers, systems analysis serves to move arguments from the level of ideology or syllogism to the level of quantitative calculation.

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