The Rational Actors Model: The Internment Of Japanese Americans

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Political scientists and historians have always been on the opposite sides on the subject of how a decision is made. Political Scientists claim that by knowing a few details into the major players prior preferences that all future actions can be predicted by using that Rational Actors Model. However, historians refute this theory arguing that without knowing the context or the environment of the player, one can never truly understand the decision making process. By using the events which led to the internment of Japanese Americans I hope to show that any event can fit the model in hindsight but at the time of the actual decision there could have been many options for Japanese Americans short of internment. On December 7-12, 1941 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met with the Department of War, Secretary of War, and the Justice Department. This meeting was to determine the treatment of Japanese Americans residing in the United States the bombing of Pearl Harbor. These men were the unified national actors according to the national actor model. If we were to refer to The Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis by Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow, the first thing a person following the Rational Actors Model would say is that we must make an assumption about our three actors. That the major assumption is “people seek ego gratification- this is their end goal. Thus economics, political science, and to a large extent sociology and psychology study human

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