What is Political science?

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Political science is a social science concerned with the theory and practice of politics and the analysis of political systems and political behaviour. Political scientists see themselves engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions. And from these revelations, they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world of politics works. Political science intersects with other fields; including anthropology, public policy, national politics, economics, international relations, comparative politics, psychology, sociology, history, law, and political theory.

The discipline is commonly divided into three distinct sub-disciplines: Political Philosophy, Comparative Politics and International Relations.

  • Political Philosophy is the reasoning for an absolute normative government, laws and similar questions and their distinctive characteristics.
  • Comparative Politics is the science of comparison and teaching of different types of constitutions, political actors, legislature and associated fields, all of them from an intrastate perspective.
  • International Relations deals with the interaction between nation-states as well as intergovernmental and transnational organizations.

Political science is methodologically diverse and appropriates many methods originating in social research. Approaches include positivism, interpretivism, rational choice theory, behavioural, structuralism, post-structuralism, realism, institutionalism, and pluralism. As one of the social sciences, it uses methods and techniques that relate to the kinds of inquiries sought: primary sources such as historical documents and official records, secondary sources such as scholarly journal articles, survey research, statistical analysis, case studies, and model building.

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