Category: 

What is Political Science?

Political science is the study of political behavior, political systems and politics.
A political scientist might examine how the number of press conferences a politician gives influence polling numbers before an election.
The ancient Athenian philosophers debated many aspects of political theory.
The White House, home of the president of the United States.
Article Details
  • Written By: Michael Anissimov
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Klikk, Picsfive, Dimitris Karkanis, Sandra Manske
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The seahorse is among the only animals on Earth which has males bear the young.  more...

September 30 ,  1949 :  The Berlin Air Lift ended.  more...

Political science is a branch of the social sciences that is mainly practiced in the United States and United Kingdom. It is the analysis, description, and prediction of political behavior, political systems and politics. Another way of describing this field is calling it "what politicians study in college." Like the other social sciences, it's considered a "soft" science, meaning it revolves more around subjective interpretations than hard data. Due to the complexity of human behavior when it comes to politics, it will be a long time before it can be anything else.

The object of political science courses is to groom students for careers in politics, or to give them an awareness of the political process that might be useful in some other career. Politics is complicated, both in terms of the rules and the strategies to be used.

The field as a discipline is relatively recent, with the name popping up in America immediately after the Civil War. The name quickly spread to the UK. Although universities around the world have political courses, they tend to lack the scientific flavor of "political science" courses specifically.

Ad

Political science has clear antecedents stretching back to ancient civilizations: moral philosophy, political philosophy, political economy, history, and so on. Clearly, many of the leaders of history were aware of the ins and outs of politics, although circumstances tended to be more chaotic, and military prowess alone may have been sufficient to gain control of a nation or empire. With the more recent establishment of stable states and the suppression of corruption, politicians have had more incentive to work within the system as it exists, leading to this discipline.

One of the most influential works in the field is probably The Prince, written by the Italian diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli in 1513. The book puts forth strategies for a leader to establish a strong empire in the face of various challenges. The main argument is that while a leader should publicly seem good and just, behind the scenes it may be worth taking underhanded actions to achieve political goals. This argument has led The Prince to also be one of the most controversial political books of all time.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon324037
Post 16

Political science is the systematic and scientific study of human behavior in relation to all the activities that involve the seizure of state power, the consolidation of state power and the control of state power.

It deals with leadership position and the way the subjects of government should be govern. Because, until a philosopher become a king or king become philosopher, the society will continue to be in a nasty state. We need political thinkers (rational being),philosophers, psychologists etc. --Okoro, P.J.

anon322137
Post 15

Explain the significance of political analysis in view of Aristotle's perception of a man as political animal.

anon211174
Post 12

what job will i get if i graduate this course?

anon189000
Post 11

if you been studying political science you have to proceed to law

because political science is the study about laws.

anon166892
Post 10

I'm going to take political science this year, but my mother doesn't agree with it because she's thinking that after taking this course what could be my next step? there's a chance to get a good job?

anon148061
Post 8

i have completed m.sc.com. in biotechnology, but now aiming to pursue civil services. i want to take political science as optional subject. can you please guide me from where to study as it is a totally new subject for me?

anon90035
Post 7

my niece has been offered political science, theatre arts and adult education.

her interests are in fashion and music. please will the offer help her? i need your response please.

anon85158
Post 6

A lack of measurement has occurred in the political science. In order to understanding this argument, it is necessary to answer these questions.

1. Data is goods, isn't it?

2. How does the mechanism of the data market work?

3. Is there the relationship among the stability, the development and the mechanism of the data market?

4. Does the social phenomenon like the recently Thailand crisis involve the mechanism of the data market?

A lack of measurement is the condition that there are some variables and propositions out of the area of measurement. Re-framing is required.

anon77107
Post 5

What is bad if someone studies political science? I want to study either political science or sociology. Please advise me on this before i go deep. Cheers. Ahmed B.

anon64730
Post 4

After doing masters in political science, what kind of career opportunities are there?

anon51739
Post 3

Well, i am not familiar in a different field of job, but my suggestion to her would be that she better not take that course, since she don't want to go to law school. Or, she better find another course where she could be a professional in the near future.

shellethomas
Post 1

My daughter is thinking of studying political science in college. My question is what careers are available in this field of study if she were to get a degree in political science? BTW, she doesn't want to go to law school.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email