Policy Model

Policy models can be used mathematically or non-mathematically for different purposes, such as to investigate analyses and predict and understand the conditions under which a specific phenomenon or event may occur (Clarke & Primo, 2007). Most political models in the modelling literature address voting, election forecasting and government formation. Morton (2004) notes that a model’s developmental cycle progresses from non-formal to formal and finally to empirical. Non-formal models have been used to rationally evaluate the construction of new theories (Hamza, 2013).

Political models are classified into five categories: foundational, structural, generative, explicative and predictive (Clarke & Primo, 2007) where a model can occupy one (or more) of the categories. The most common type is the prediction model (Hamza, 2013).

Different policy models exist, such as a bargaining model (Diermeier et al., 2003), a model of parliamentary electoral competition (Quinn & Martin, 2002), formal model of the politics of delegation in a separation of powers system (Volden, 2002; Hamza, 2013), the spatial model and the bargaining model of collective choice (Banks & Duggan, 2000).

Several simulation modelling trials have been performed. However, most of these models were developed by computer science or statistics researchers (Johnson, 1999). The main objective of these models is to simplify the complexity of the decision-making process in a political environment for politicians (Hamza, 2013).


Banks, J., & Duggan, J. (2000). A bargaining model of collective choice. American Political Science Review, 94(1), 73–88.

Clarke, K., & Primo, D. (2007). Modernizing Political Science: A Model-Based Approach. Perspectives on Politics, 5(4), 741-754.

Diermeier, D., Eraslan, H., & Merlo, A. (2003). A Structural Model of Governmment Formation. Econometrica, 71(1), 27-70.

Hamza, K. (2013). The Impact of Social Media and Network Governance on State Stability in Times of Turbulence: Egypt After 2011 Revolution. Institute for European Studies. Brussels: Vrije Universiteit.

Johnson, P. (1999). Simulation Modeling in Political Science. American Behavioral Scientist, 42(10), 1509-1530.

Morton, R. (2004). Methods and Models: A Guide to the Empirical Analysis of Formal Models in Political Science. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Quinn, K., & Martin, A. (2002). An Integrated Computational Model of Multiparty Electoral Competition. Statistical Science, 17(4), 405–419.

Volden, C. (2002). A Formal Model of the Politics of Delegation in a Separation of Powers System. American Journal of Political Science, 46(1), 111-133.

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