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Political science is the scientific study of
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive process resulting in the selection ...

politics
. It is a social science dealing with systems of
governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity ...

governance
and power, and the analysis of
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of reso ...

political
activities, political thought, political behavior, and associated
constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...

constitution
s and laws. Modern political science can generally be divided into the three subdisciplines of comparative politics,
international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it concerns all activities between states—such as war, diplomacy ...
, and
political theory Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

political theory
. Other notable subdisciplines are public policy and administration, domestic politics and government (often studied within comparative politics),
political economy Political economy is the study of production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (g ...
, and
political methodology Political methodology is a subfield of political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, political tho ...
. Furthermore, political science is related to, and draws upon, the fields of
economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was fo ...

economics
,
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
,
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly ...
,
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existen ...

philosophy
,
human geography Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of that is associated and deals with humans and their relationships with communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across loca ...
,
journalism Journalism is the production and distribution of report Image:Hurt Report cover page.png, 220px, Example of a front page of a report A report is a document that presents information in an organized format for a specific audience and purpose. ...

journalism
,
political anthropology Political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribu ...
,
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known ...

psychology
, and
social policy Social policy is policy A policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by a gov ...
. Political science is methodologically diverse and appropriates many methods originating in
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known ...

psychology
,
social research Social research is a research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of information to increase understanding of a topi ...

social research
, and
cognitive neuroscience Cognitive neuroscience is the scientific field that is concerned with the study of the biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowle ...
. Approaches include
positivism Positivism is a philosophical theory A philosophical theory or philosophical position''Dictionary of Theories'', Jennifer Bothamley is a view that attempts to explain or account for a particular problem in philosophy Philosophy (from ...
,
interpretivism
interpretivism
,
rational choice theory Rational choice theory refers to a set of guidelines that help understand economic and social behaviour. The theory postulates that an individual will perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether an option is right for them. It also sugge ...
,
behaviouralism Behaviouralism (or behavioralism) is an approach in political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, ...
,
structuralism In sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empirical method, emp ...
,
post-structuralism Post-structuralism is a term for philosophical, theoretical and literary forms of theory that both build upon and reject ideas established by structuralism In sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns o ...
,
realism Realism, Realistic, or Realists may refer to: In the arts *Realism (arts), the general attempt to depict subjects truthfully in different forms of the arts Arts movements related to realism include: *Classical Realism *Literary realism, a movem ...
, institutionalism, and pluralism. Political science, as one of the social sciences, uses methods and techniques that relate to the kinds of inquiries sought:
primary source In the study of history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

primary source
s, such as historical documents and official records,
secondary source In scholarship A scholarship is an award of Student financial aid, financial aid for a student to further their education at a private elementary or secondary school, or a private or public post-secondary college, university, or other academi ...
s, such as scholarly journal articles,
survey Survey may refer to: Statistics and human research * Statistical survey Survey methodology is "the study of survey methods". As a field of applied statistics concentrating on Survey (human research), human-research surveys, survey methodology s ...
research,
statistical analysis Statistical inference is the process of using data analysis to infer properties of an underlying probability distribution, distribution of probability.Upton, G., Cook, I. (2008) ''Oxford Dictionary of Statistics'', OUP. . Inferential statistical ...

statistical analysis
,
case studies A case study involves an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of a particular case or cases, within a real-world context. For example, case studies in medicine may focus on an individual patient or ailment; case studies in business might cov ...
, experimental research, and model building.


History


Origins

As a social political science, contemporary political science started to take shape in the latter half of the 19th century. At that time it began to separate itself from political
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existen ...

philosophy
, which traces its roots back to the works of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental quest ...

Aristotle
and
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, wikt:Πλάτων, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thoug ...

Plato
, which were written nearly 2,500 years ago. The term "political science" was not always distinguished from political philosophy, and the modern discipline has a clear set of antecedents including also moral philosophy, political economy,
political theologyPolitical theology is a term which has been used in discussion of the ways in which theological concepts or ways of thinking relate to politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, ...
, history, and other fields concerned with normative determinations of what ought to be and with deducing the characteristics and functions of the ideal state. The advent of political science as a university discipline was marked by the creation of university departments and chairs with the title of political science arising in the late 19th century. In fact, the designation "political scientist" is typically for those with a doctorate in the field, but can also apply to those with a master's in the subject. Integrating political studies of the past into a unified discipline is ongoing, and the history of political science has provided a rich field for the growth of both
normative Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad or undesirable or impermissible. A norm Nor ...
and
positive Positive is a property of Positivity (disambiguation), positivity and may refer to: Mathematics and science * Converging lens or positive lens, in optics * Plus sign, the sign "+" used to indicate a positive number * Positive (electricity), a po ...
political science, with each part of the discipline sharing some historical predecessors. The
American Political Science Association The American Political Science Association (APSA) is a professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) usually seeks to further Further or Furthur may re ...
and the ''
American Political Science Review The ''American Political Science Review'' is a quarterly Peer review, peer-reviewed academic journal covering all areas of political science. It is an official journal of the American Political Science Association and is published on their behalf b ...
'' were founded in 1903 and 1906, respectively, in an effort to distinguish the study of
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive process resulting in the selection ...

politics
from economics and other social phenomena.


Behavioural revolution and new institutionalism

In the 1950s and the 1960s, a behavioral revolution stressing the systematic and rigorously scientific study of individual and group behavior swept the discipline. A focus on studying political behavior, rather than institutions or interpretation of legal texts, characterized early behavioral political science, including work by
Robert Dahl Robert Alan Dahl (; December 17, 1915 – February 5, 2014) was an American political theory, political theorist and Sterling Professor, Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University. He established the pluralism (political theory ...
, Philip Converse, and in the collaboration between sociologist
Paul Lazarsfeld Paul Felix Lazarsfeld (February 13, 1901August 30, 1976) was an Austrian-American sociologist. The founder of Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is ...
and public opinion scholar
Bernard Berelson Bernard Reuben Berelson (1912–1979) was an American behavioral scientist, known for his work on communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy ...
. The late 1960s and early 1970s witnessed a takeoff in the use of deductive,
game-theoretic Game theory is the study of mathematical model A mathematical model is a description of a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. ...
formal modelling techniques aimed at generating a more analytical corpus of knowledge in the discipline. This period saw a surge of research that borrowed theory and methods from economics to study political institutions, such as the United States Congress, as well as political behavior, such as voting.
William H. Riker William Harrison Riker (September 22, 1920 – June 26, 1993) was an American political scientist who is prominent for applying game theory and mathematics to political science. He helped to establish Rochester school, University of Rochester as a ...
and his colleagues and students at the
University of Rochester The University of Rochester (U of R, UR, or U of Rochester) is a in . The university grants and s, including and s. The University of Rochester enrolls approximately 6,800 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students. Its 158 buildings hous ...
were the main proponents of this shift. Despite considerable research progress in the discipline based on all the kinds of scholarship discussed above, it has been observed that progress toward systematic theory has been modest and uneven.


Recent developments

In 2000, the Perestroika Movement in political science was introduced as a reaction against what supporters of the movement called the mathematicization of political science. Those who identified with the movement argued for a plurality of methodologies and approaches in political science and for more relevance of the discipline to those outside of it. Some
evolutionary psychology Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach in the social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchang ...
theories argue that humans have evolved a highly developed set of psychological mechanisms for dealing with politics. However, these mechanisms evolved for dealing with the small group politics that characterized the ancestral environment and not the much larger political structures in today's world. This is argued to explain many important features and systematic
cognitive bias A cognitive bias is a systematic pattern of deviation from norm Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic disciplines * Norm (geology), an estimate of the idealised mineral content of a rock * Norm (philosophy) Norms are concepts ( se ...
es of current politics.Michael Bang Petersen. "The evolutionary psychology of mass politics". In


Overview

Political science is a social study concerning the allocation and transfer of
power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of power is the watt, equal to one joule per second. In older works, p ...
in
decision making In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense s ...

decision making
, the roles and systems of governance including
governments A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature A legislature is a deliberative assemb ...
and
international organizations An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states and other actors in the international system. Organizations m ...
, political behaviour, and public policies. It measures the success of
governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity ...

governance
and specific policies by examining many factors, including
stability Stability may refer to: Mathematics *Stability theory, the study of the stability of solutions to differential equations and dynamical systems **Asymptotic stability **Linear stability **Lyapunov stability **Orbital stability **Structural stability ...
,
justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspectives, ...

justice
, material wealth,
peace upStatue of Eirene, goddess of peace in ancient Greek religion, with her son Pluto. Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility Hostility is seen as form of emotionally charged aggressive behavior. In ...

peace
, and
public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a lis ...

public health
. Some political scientists seek to advance
positive Positive is a property of Positivity (disambiguation), positivity and may refer to: Mathematics and science * Converging lens or positive lens, in optics * Plus sign, the sign "+" used to indicate a positive number * Positive (electricity), a po ...
theses (which attempt to describe how things are, as opposed to how they should be) by analysing politics; others advance
normative Normative generally means relating to an evaluative standard. Normativity is the phenomenon in human societies of designating some actions or outcomes as good or desirable or permissible and others as bad or undesirable or impermissible. A norm Nor ...
theses, such as by making specific policy recommendations. The study of politics and policies can be closely connected—for example, in comparative analyses of which types of political institutions tend to produce certain types of policies. Political science provides analysis and predictions about political and governmental issues. Political scientists examine the processes, systems and political dynamics of countries and regions of the world, often to raise public awareness or to influence specific governments. Political scientists may provide the frameworks from which journalists, special interest groups, politicians, and the
electorate Electorate may refer to: * The people who are eligible to vote in an Election#Electorate, election, especially their number e.g. the term ''size of (the) electorate'' * The dominion of a Prince-elector in the Holy Roman Empire until 1806 * An electo ...
analyze issues. According to Chaturvedy,


Country-specific studies

Political scientists may study political phenomena within one specific country; for example, they may study just the politics of the United States or just the politics of China. In the case of the United States, political scientists known as " Americanists" look at a variety of data, including ,
elections An election is a formal group decision-makingGroup decision-making (also known as collaborative decision-making or collective decision-making) is a situation faced when individuals An individual is that which exists as a distinct entity. Indi ...

elections
,
public opinion Public opinion is the collective opinion on a specific topic or voting intention relevant to a society. Etymology The term "public opinion" was derived from the French ', which was first used in 1588 by Michel de Montaigne Image:ArmoiriesM ...
, and
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
, such as Social Security reform,
foreign policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Poli ...
,
US Congress The United States Congress is the legislature A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of collective) who ...
ional committees, and the
US Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a cou ...

US Supreme Court
. Political scientists will often focus on the politics of their own country; for example, a political scientist from Indonesia may become an expert in the politics of Indonesia.


Anticipating crises

The theory of political transitions, and the methods of analyzing and anticipating crises, form an important part of political science. Several general indicators of crises and methods were proposed for anticipating critical transitions. Among them, one statistical indicator of crisis, a simultaneous increase of
variance In probability theory Probability theory is the branch of concerned with . Although there are several different , probability theory treats the concept in a rigorous mathematical manner by expressing it through a set of . Typically these ax ...

variance
and
correlations In statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is conventional to begin wi ...

correlations
in large groups, was proposed for crisis anticipation and may be successfully used in various areas. Its applicability for early diagnosis of political crises was demonstrated by the analysis of the prolonged stress period preceding the 2014 Ukrainian economic and political crisis. There was a simultaneous increase in the total correlation between the 19 major public fears in the Ukrainian society (by about 64%) and in their statistical dispersion (by 29%) during the pre-crisis years. A feature shared by certain major revolutions is that they were not predicted. The theory of apparent inevitability of crises and revolutions was also developed. The study of major crises, both political crises and external crises that can affect politics, is not limited to attempts to predict regime transitions or major changes in political institutions. Political scientists also study how governments handle unexpected disasters, and how voters in democracies react to their governments' preparations for and responses to crises.


Cognate fields

Most political scientists work broadly in one or more of the following five areas: *
Political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

Political philosophy
or political theory *
Public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, g ...
*
Public law Public law is the part of law that governs relations between legal person In law, a legal person is any person or 'thing' (less ambiguously, any legal entity) that can do the things a human person is usually able to do in law – such as ent ...
*
Public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
* Program evaluation
Program evaluation Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency. In both the public and private sectors, Pr ...
is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies, and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency. In both the public and private sectors, stakeholders often want to know whether the programs they are funding, implementing, voting for, receiving, or objecting to are producing the intended effect. While program evaluation first focuses on this definition, important considerations often include how much the program costs per participant, how the program could be improved, whether the program is worthwhile, whether there are better alternatives, whether there are unintended outcomes, and whether the program goals are appropriate and useful.
Policy analysis Policy analysis is a technique used in public administration Public administration is the implementation of government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
is a technique used in public administration to enable civil servants, activists, and others to examine and evaluate the available options to implement the goals of laws and elected officials.


Subfields of political science

Many political scientists conduct research in one of four areas, described below: *
Political Philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...
: Concerned with the foundations of political community and institutions, while focusing on human nature and the moral purposes of political association. * Comparative Politics: Compares contemporary political systems and discovers general laws and theories. *
International Relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it concerns all activities between states—such as war, diplomacy ...
: Concerned with developing an understanding of why states and non-state international actors interact. *
Political Methodology Political methodology is a subfield of political science Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of politics, political activities, political tho ...
: Studies the philosophical bases of social science, political science, empirical research design and analysis. Some political science departments also classify
methodology Methodology is the study of research methods, or, more formally, "'a contextual framework' for research, a coherent and logical scheme based on views, beliefs, and values, that guides the choices researchers
r other users R, or r, is the eighteenth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet The ISO basic Latin alphabet is a Latin-script alphabet A Latin-script alphabet (Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet) is an alphabet that ...
make". It compris ...
as well as scholarship on the domestic politics of a particular country as distinct fields. In the United States,
American politics The United States is a constitutional federal republic, in which the president of the United States, president (the head of state and head of government), United States Congress, Congress, and United States federal courts, judiciary share Separat ...
is often treated as a separate subfield. In contrast to this traditional classification, some academic departments organize scholarship into thematic categories, including political philosophy, political behaviour (including
public opinion Public opinion is the collective opinion on a specific topic or voting intention relevant to a society. Etymology The term "public opinion" was derived from the French ', which was first used in 1588 by Michel de Montaigne Image:ArmoiriesM ...
,
collective action Collective action refers to action taken together by a group of people whose goal A goal is an idea In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, e ...
, and
identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group affiliation in psychology and sociology Group expression and affiliation * Cultural identity, a person's self-affiliation (or categorization by others ...
), and political institutions (including
legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with the Executive (government), executive and Judiciary, ...
s and
international organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states and other actors in the international system. Organizations ...
s). Political science conferences and journals often emphasize scholarship in more specific categories. The American Political Science Association, for example, has 42 organized sections that address various methods and topics of political inquiry.


Research methods

Political science is methodologically diverse; political scientists approach the study of politics from a host of different ontological orientations and with a variety of different tools. Because political science is essentially a study of
human behaviour Human behavior is the potential and expressed capacity (Energy (psychological), mentally, Physical activity, physically, and Social actions, socially) of human individuals or groups to respond to internal and external Stimulation, stimuli through ...
, in all aspects of
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive process resulting in the selection ...

politics
, observations in controlled environments are often challenging to reproduce or duplicate, though
experiment An experiment is a procedure carried out to support or refute a , or determine the or of something previously untried. Experiments provide insight into by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Experime ...

experiment
al methods are increasingly common (see experimental political science). Citing this difficulty, former
American Political Science Association The American Political Science Association (APSA) is a professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) usually seeks to further Further or Furthur may re ...
President Lawrence Lowell once said "We are limited by the impossibility of experiment. Politics is an observational, not an experimental science."Lowell, A. Lawrence. 1910.
The Physiology of Politics
" ''American Political Science Review'' 4: 1–15.
Because of this, political scientists have historically observed political elites, institutions, and individual or group behaviour in order to identify patterns, draw generalizations, and build theories of politics. Like all social sciences, political science faces the difficulty of observing human actors that can only be partially observed and who have the capacity for making conscious choices, unlike other subjects such as non-human organisms in
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
or inanimate objects as in
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

physics
. Despite the complexities, contemporary political science has progressed by adopting a variety of methods and theoretical approaches to understanding politics, and
methodological Methodology is "'a contextual framework' for research, a coherent and logical scheme based on views, beliefs, and values, that guides the choices researchers r other usersmake". It comprises the theoretical analysis of the body of methods an ...
pluralism is a defining feature of contemporary political science. Empirical political science methods include the use of field experiments, surveys and survey experiments, case studies, process tracing, historical and institutional analysis, ethnography, participant observation, and interview research. Political scientists also use and develop theoretical tools like game theory and agent-based models to study a host of political systems and situations. Political theorists approach theories of political phenomena with a similar diversity of positions and tools, including
feminist political theory Feminist political theory is a diverse subfield of feminist theory Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, fictional, or Philosophy, philosophical discourse. It aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. It examine ...
, historical analysis associated with the Cambridge School (intellectual history), Cambridge school, and Leo Strauss#Straussianism, Straussian approaches. Political science may overlap with topics of study that are the traditional focuses of other social sciences—for example, when sociological Social norm, norms or psychological Cognitive bias, biases are connected to political phenomena. In these cases, political science may either inherit their methods of study or develop a contrasting approach. For example, Lisa Wedeen has argued that political science's approach to the idea of culture, originating with Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba and exemplified by authors like Samuel P. Huntington, could benefit from aligning more closely with the study of culture in anthropology. In turn, methodologies that are developed within political science may influence how researchers in other fields, like public health, conceive of and approach political processes and policies.


Education

Political science, possibly like the social sciences as a whole, can be described "as a discipline lives on the fault line between the 'two cultures' in the academy, the sciences and the humanities." Thus, in some American colleges where there is no separate College of Arts and Sciences, school or college of arts and sciences per se, political science may be a separate department housed as part of a division or school of humanities or Liberal Arts, liberal arts.See, e.g., the department o
Political Science
at Marist College, part of a Division of Humanities before that division became the School of Liberal Arts (c. 2000).
Whereas classical political philosophy is primarily defined by a concern for Greece, Hellenic and Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thought, political scientists are also marked by a great concern for "modernity" and the contemporary nation state, along with the study of classical thought, and as such share more terminology with sociologists (e.g., structure and agency). Most United States Higher education in the United States, colleges and universities offer BA programs in political science. MA or MAT and PhD or EdD programs are common at larger universities. The term ''political science'' is more popular in North America than elsewhere; other institutions, especially those outside the United States, see political science as part of a broader discipline of ''political studies,'' ''politics,'' or ''government.'' While ''political science'' implies the use of the scientific method, ''political studies'' implies a broader approach, although the naming of degree courses does not necessarily reflect their content. Separate programs (often professional degrees) in international relations and
public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is th ...
are not uncommon at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Master's-level programs in public administration are professional degrees covering public policy along with other applied subjects; they are often seen as more linked to politics than any other discipline, which may be reflected by being housed in that department. The national honor society for college and university students of government and politics in the United States is Pi Sigma Alpha.


Writing in political science

There are different genres of writings in political sciences; including but not limited to: * Argument essays and Research papers * Political theory writing * Responses to articles, texts, events thoughts and reflective papers The most common piece of writing in political sciences are research papers, which investigate an original research question.


See also

* Comparative politics * History of political science * International relations * Outline of political science – structured list of political topics, arranged by subject area * Index of politics articles – alphabetical list of political subjects * Political history of the world * Political lists – lists of political topics *
Political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or menta ...

Political philosophy


References


Further reading

*
The Evolution of Political Science
' (November 2006). APSR Centennial Volume of ''
American Political Science Review The ''American Political Science Review'' is a quarterly Peer review, peer-reviewed academic journal covering all areas of political science. It is an official journal of the American Political Science Association and is published on their behalf b ...
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