PINC-Schema - Four Dimensions of Politics

The PINC-Schema 1) is a so-called “Topoi-Catalogue” 2), which serves to facilitate the finding of information, data, literature, and thought pattern on specific subject. The PINC-Schema combines the four basic characteristics of political reality Power, Ideology, Norms, and Communication and illustrates its relationships and interactions.

PINC-Schema: A topical schema for the analysis of political reality

The interaction of the four charateristics of political reality with the three sections of politics: policy, politics and polity is indicated by some questions in the following table.

Policy Politics Polity
Power Who has the power to realise or avert certain goals? Who influences whom based on what capabilities? Who has the power within the organisation?
Ideology On what ideology are goals based? Which world-views and knowledge is used by whom to rationalise her actions? What are the perceptions of a problem, the contents, and goals the organisation stands for?
Norms Which norms should be introduced or altered by a given policy programme, which are ignored or treated as secondary ? Based on which norms which tactics are employed ? What are the formal and informal rules an organisation relies on ?
Communication How is the political messages presented and publicised? Which channels of communication are being used by whom in what way in order to influence a legislative procedure? How does internal and external communication of a given organisation work?
see Patzelt 2003: 37-46
from the Greek 'Tópos: Site', also 'commonplace'