5 Important Criticisms Against the Systems Approach to Study Political Science

The Important Criticisms of Systems Approach are listed below:

(1) David Easton’s Systems Approach has been criticised due to the abstract nature of his concepts. Can one deal with abstractions and still talk in terms of a system?

Dr. S.P. Verma, “A close study of Easton’s political thought makes it very clear that his continuous efforts to move from the abstract to the concrete and from the concrete back to the abstract only land him into a great deal of confusion.


(2) Even at the micro-level, systems approach is not applicable to the study of the third world countries. Wasby says, “When we go outside the context of North America and the Western World, it becomes apparent that relatively few countries exist wherein there is not a more than remote danger of revolution, civil war or coup. Easton and Almond models are not applicable to such fast changing nations.

(3) This approach has been cultivated as an alternative approach to Marxism. W.G. Runciman rightly says, “Functionalism can indeed be interpreted as a conscious alternative to Marxism. Some of its writers have wanted to interpret it as a political ideology conditioned by the structure of American capitalism.”

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(4) Another weakness of the systems approach is that it is concerned mainly with the present and has no perspective of the future. Because of its anti-historical attitude, it is not able to see social reality in terms of time perspective.


(5) The Systems Approach can be used more for macro studies and less for micro studies of politics.

In the words of Oran R. Young, “Systems approach does not have much to offer for studies dealing with the political aspects of such matters as perception, exception, formation or cognition.”