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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter comments on Harold Lasswell’s 1956 book The Decision Process: Seven Categories of Functional Analysis, a controversial work that has exerted a profound influence on political science and the way political processes are perceived. The discussion begins by summarizing Lasswell’s core argument, paying particular attention to the seven stages of decision-making that he describes in this book: intelligence, promotion, prescription, invocation, application, termination, and appraisal. The chapter then situates The Decision Process within Lasswell’s general work and more specifically within his studies on decision-making, both before and after the book was published. It also assesses the reception of the book, along with its impact on the debate on political decision-making and on modern applications in domestic and international politics. The chapter concludes by suggesting some areas for future application and research.

Keywords: Harold Lasswell, political science, decision-making, intelligence, promotion, invocation, termination, appraisal, politics

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