In previous work the authors analysed the global properties of an approximate model of radiation damping for charged particles. This work is put into context and related to the original motivation of understanding approximations used in the study of gravitational radiation damping. It is examined to what extent the results obtained previously depend on the particular model chosen. Comparisons are made with other models for gravitational and electromagnetic fields. The relation of the kinetic model for which theorems were proved to certain many-particle models with radiation damping is exhibited.