Modeling Policy Decisions as a Theoretical Task

Research question/goal: 

This project was proposed as a theoretical bracket for a variety of individual studies during the second research program of the MZES (1993-5). The point of departure was a comparative study intending to explain political decision-making process in labor and social policy in West Germany, the US, and Japan. The first phase, guided by Henning, König and Schnorpfeil, involved the further articulation and then application of negotiation models. Henning expanded on Coleman's exchange model of collective decision-making, and modified game theoretic decision solutions in such a manner as to make them applicable to international negotiation systems. On the one hand, this was applicable to the Nash bargaining solution, and on the other, led to a "renegotiation proof equilibrium" based on the further simplification of the general Nash solution by Harsanyi, or in other words to a simpler Nash solution; both together made empirical application of the model considerably simpler. Henning and König then applied these models empirically to international, voluntary negotiation systems, which König followed in 1995 with a closer examination of the institutionalized negotiation system of the EU. The qualified majority rule in the Council of Ministers makes it no longer possible to assume that all negotiating parties have the same voting weight, as is otherwise characteristic of voluntary international negotiation systems that either vote unanimously or come to a decision without formally voting by having individual participants abstain from raising objections. König, in an MZES Working Paper, determined the power-weights of the individual institutions of the European Community and their actors. A further paper addressed the explanation for more than 5,000 legislative rules and acts of the European Community. An empirical application of negotiation models to European Community decisions can be found in Schnorpfeil's dissertation.

Fact sheet

1993 to 1997
Geographic Space: 
European Union