The Important criticisms of Easton’s Systems Approach by several political scientists are as Follows:
(1) A Borrowed Approach:
Several critics advocate that the Estonian systems theory has for its basis the classical thought, especially that of Adams Smith. I.S. Sorzano has attempted to prove that whatever questions and hypothesis Estonian systems approach appears to generate are mere derivations from the Classical Economic Theory and in a less perfect and even confusing way that Smith himself did.
Sorzano observes “The Easton’s model and the traditional economic approach share not only the notions of system and input-output but those of scarcity, allocation, competition, maximization; goat-seeking and feedback as well.”
(2) Does not cover Para Systems:
Easton’s model offers no systematic way of analysing para-political systems and the international system.
(3) Narrow View of System:
Easton’s concept of political system, identified through its authoritative allocations, is a narrow concept. Sorzano regards it as a limited hypothesis. Daniel Mou is of the view that by conceptualising (unfortunately) a political system simply from the point of view of what it does (or should do?), Easton seems to have rendered this concept of political system less useful.
(4) Gives no Reason for the Authoritativeness of Political System:
Easton fails to answer such questions:
What makes the system authoritatively allocate the values? Why does it convert inputs into outputs? Thomson L. Thomson has criticised Easton for dodging answers to such questions.
(5) Ambiguous in Content:
It has been observed by Claude Ake that the Easton’s systems theory is ambiguous in several ways. “The relations between the variables are not stated with rigour. It is difficult if not impossible, to apply it to the study of the world, and the data gathered in the context of the theory will mean little if anything. ”
(6) Concept of Systemic Persistence is faulty:
Easton’s concepts of systemic persistence and change have also been criticised by critics on grounds of precision. As Evans puts it, Easton talks of persistence as the chief properly of the political system but he does not refer to the maintenance of specific structure for this purpose.
(7) Projects the System as an Automatic System:
Another serious weakness of Easton’s Systems Approach is that it hinges on the system’s automatic response to stress. Daniel Mou writes,’ “Reading Easton, one gets the impression that he just does not consider the distinction between the goals of the individual or groups and those of the system.”
(8) Fails to Specify the Role of Individual in Political System:
Easton’s model gives little place to the study of individuals or their groups. As Mackenzie holds “Easton has focused on politics as a matter of process and events, rather than of individual or group actions.” The Eastonian model relegates the individual to the background. Group struggle has failed to attract Easton’s interests.
(9) Cannot be Really Used for Studying Developing Political Systems:
Easton’s approach can be used for analysing the political systems of developed Western democracies. It cannot be usefully employed for the study of Asian and African political systems.
“The application of the model seems to be restricted to those societies in which the political actors are capable of conceiving political activity as the form of exchange of support for outputs.” (J.S. Sorzano)
(10) Obsession with Systemic Persistence:
Easton is almost obsessed with systemic persistence. He ignores the issue of social change and revolutions. He is dominated by an equilibrium orientation.
(11) Fails to Elaborate Conversion Process:
Finally, Easton’s input-output model ignores the importance of the study of the conversion process. He does not discuss in detail.
(12) Fails to Provide for the Study of Political Development and Social Change:
The concept of systematic persistence cannot be really helpful in studying political development/political change.
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