Decision Making in Communities

  • W. J. M. Mackenzie


In recent years the word “decision-making” has served as a focus for collaboration among social scientists. The word itself, in its every-day sense, indicates something of common interest to economists, sociologists, lawyers and psychologists, as well as to political scientists like myself. In the same period, electrical engineering has developed to the point that it suggests analogues for human brains and human communities. Hence mathematical formulations which can be applied directly in electronic systems have come to be regarded also as fruitful tools in analysing human systems. I refer particularly to information theory and cybernetics, games theory, and statistical decision theory: branches of mathematics in the strictest sense, but labelled by names which in themselves suggest the human analogy.


Political Scientist Small Community Political Life Western Democracy Golf Club 
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Some British Studies

  1. Birch, A. H. Small Town Politics. A Study of Political Life in Glossop (O.U.P., 1959).Google Scholar
  2. Bulpitt, J. C. ‘Party Systems in Local Government’, Political Studies, XI, no. 1 (1963) p. 11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Donnison, D. V. Welfare Services in a Canadian Community: A Studyof Brockville, Ontario (University of Totonto Press, 1958).Google Scholar
  4. Epstein, A. L. Politics in an Urban African Community (Manchester University Press, 1958 ).Google Scholar
  5. Frankenberg, R. Village on the Border (Cohen and West, 1957 ).Google Scholar
  6. Lee, J. M. Social Leaders and Public Persons, Clarendon Press (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  7. Stacey. M. Tradition and Change: A Study of Banbury (O.U.P., 1960 ).Google Scholar
  8. Watson, W. ‘Children’s Play in a Scottish Mining Community’, Folklore, LXIV (1953).Google Scholar
  9. Williams, W. M. ‘The Sociology of an English Village: Gosforth’, International Library of Social Reconstruction ( London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1956 ).Google Scholar

Some American Studies

  1. Banfield, E. C. Political Influence (with special reference to Chicago) ( Chicago: Free Press of Glencoe, 1961 ).Google Scholar
  2. Dahl, R. A. Who Governs? (Yale University Press, 1961).Google Scholar
  3. Hunter, Floyd. Community Power Structure (Chapel Hill, 1953 ).Google Scholar
  4. Hunter, Floyd. Top Leadership, U.S.A. (Chapel Hill, 1959 ).Google Scholar
  5. Mills, C. Wright. The Power Elite (O.U.P., 1956 ).Google Scholar
  6. Sayre, Wallace and Herbert Kaupman. Governing New York City: Politics in the Metropolis (Russel Sage Foundation Publication, 1960 ).Google Scholar

Decision Theory

  1. For a brief and lucid introduction:—Google Scholar
  2. Johnston, J. ‘Decision Theory’, Progress (Spring 1963) at p. 164.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© W. J. M. Mackenzie 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. J. M. Mackenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

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