Political science is a branch of the social sciences concerned with the study of the state, government, and politics. It is also defined as the study of government or political units. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics and political behavior. Political science is the analysis, description, and prediction of political behavior, political systems and politics. Political science is essentially a study of human behavior.
Politics is an observational, not an experimental science. Political science was codified in the 19th century in the university of Columbia, when all the social sciences were already established. But political science has ancient roots; indeed, it originated almost 2,500 years ago with the works of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates and Xenophon. Political scientists study the roles and systems of governance including governments and international organizations, political behavior and public policies.
They measure the success of governance and specific policies by examining many factors, including stability, justice, material wealth, and peace. 1) Politics involves change. Studying politics involves studying change—change in governments, laws, and political–social attitudes and opinions. 2) In an increasingly interdependent world even those changes that appear essentially domestic in nature may resonate with international significance. 3) Politics also involves decision making over the world’s resources. politics is about deciding who does and does not get access to what the world has to offer. 4) Political science is the academic discipline that seeks to understand the relationship between individuals and political institutions.
Indeed, politics encompasses all those decisions regarding how we make rules that govern our common life. Governments, individuals, neighborhoods, interest groups, political parties, news media, business interests, professional associations, international organizations, etc. are major political actors
What important things politics studies? * Public policies determine how wealth and power are distributed in the society, and those policies in turn affect all of us – our income, our safety, our access to clean water, medicine, & education, and even our life expectancy. * Politics is important; it’s how we live in common, regardless of if we live in a free democratic society or if we live under the Taliban or the Nazis.
Why is an American citizen likely to live longer than a Liberian citizen? Life expectancy, access to safe water sources, and opportunities for jobs paying livable wages are all areas of our lives affected enormously by political decisions of the world’s governments, as those governments make choices about how the world’s resources are to be distributed and how conflict is to be resolved. Politics involves the choices governments make in shaping the process whereby medicine, water, food, housing, and jobs are made available or unavailable to the world’s people.
America vs Africa
* Approaches to Political Science * Historically, the field of political science has been divided into three major methodological traditions or schools of thought: traditionalism, behavioralism, and postbehavioralism. * Traditionalism: The methodological tradition that seeks to understand if certain government or political institutions are behaving in accordance with how they “ought to behave.”
Behavioralism: The school of thought that looks at the “actual” behavior of certain persons or institutions. It is largely data driven and without a strong commitment to values. Behavioralists focus their research on quantitative analyses. They may seek to better understand the relationship between certain variables and attempt to find a correlation or relationship between them.
Post-behavioralism: The school of thought that seeks to combine elements of the traditional approach with those of behavioralism. Just as behavorialists critiqued traditionalists for being too “moral” or “value oriented” in their analyses, postbehavioralists have critiqued behavioralists for being too scientific and, in many ways, guilty of ignoring ethical responsibility to the field and to the citizenry at large.