The Rational Actor Model

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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
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According to Allison and Zelikow admit the deviancy saying “characterization of the rational actor’s choice in a world of uncertainty about estimated consequences of options requires further information or assumptions about the actors’ attitude toward risk.” Allison justifies the model saying people must use the Rational Actor Paradigm. It uses a “systematic statement of the basic assumptions, concepts, and propositions employed in the basic school of analysis”. In our example, the only known objective was to agree upon that a decision of some kind had to be made. The options on the table were increase law enforcement, create exclusion zones, mass deportation, internment, extermination, propaganda, encourage loyalty, full scale evacuation or simply do nothing. According to Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis the “modern design theory, the rational design problem is reduced to selecting among a set of given alternatives, each of which has a given set of consequences.” Taken with the game theory urged by Allison and Zelikow it should result in “optimal choices in narrowly constrained, neatly defined situations. In these situations, rationality refers to an essentially Hobbesian notion of consistent, value-maximizing reckoning or adaption within specified…show more content…
Looking at the “alternatives” we see a variety of more simplified options. Looking at the options it seems strange that the choice of internment was made. The Law enforcement option was the Isai (Japanese immigrants to the United states) and Nisei (Japanese Americans born in the United States), secondly limit travel visas into or out of the United States, limit the geography the Isai and Nisei could go, and take away work from those who were acting questionably. Domestic exclusion zones were also put up for debate which would exclude Isai or Nisei from working on or near military bases, war manufacturing companies, and away from coast lines or boarders. Mass deportation was an option for non-citizens but due to the high expense it was not an economically feasible option at the time. Extermination was also not an option at that large a scale for cost reasons. There was also an offer of giving all the power of controlling the Isai by giving power to the Nisei. The War Department was adamant to have martial law control the Japanese Americans. The government could have also encouraged the Japanese Americans to prove their loyalty and earn back respect in the majority of American communities advocated by John Franklin Carter. Carter and Curtis Munson advocated Pro Japanese American propaganda to
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