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Meaning of Political Science Reduced to its simplest terms, political science is the systematic study of the state1 and government. The word political is derived from the Greek word polis, meaning city, or what today would be the equivalent of a sovereign state. The word science comes from the Latin word scire, to know. (1) The science of politics2, therefore, has, as its formal object, a basic knowledge and understanding of the state and of the principles and ideals which underlie its organization and activities. (2) It is primarily concerned with the association of human beings into a body politic, or a political community (one organized under government and law). (3) As such, it deals with those relations among men and groups which are subject to control by the state, with the relations of men and groups to the state itself, and with the relations of the state to other states. 3

Scope of Political Science Political Science is a very comprehensive field. Its curriculum is almost certain to include courses in political theory, public law, and public administration as well as in various more specialized subjects. 4 (1) Political theory. The entire body of doctrine relating to the origin, form, behavior, and purposes of the state are dealt with in the study of this subject. (2) Public law. The (a) organizations of governments, (b) the limitations upon government authority, (c) the powers and duties of governmental offices and officers, and (d) the obligations of one state to another are handled in the study of public law. In contradistinction to the rules of private law, which governs the relations among individuals, public law is so specialized that separate courses are offered in each of its subdivisions constitutional law (a,b),administrative law (c), and international law (d). (3) Public administration. In the study of public administration, attention is focused upon the methods and techniques used in the actual management of state affairs by executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. As the complexity of government activities grows, the traditional distinctions among the powers of these branches become even less clear-cut5. Today, legislative bodies have been forced to delegate greater discretion to executive officers responsible for the conduct of government policies and powers. Thus, we find many administrative agencies exercising quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial powers, i.e., powers which are legislative (see Art. VI, Sec. 1) and judicial (see Art. VIII, Sec. 1) in nature. Administrative law, already referred to, also falls within the scope of any broad study of public administration. 6 1

Interrelationship with other branches of learning. No precise and definitive boundaries can be placed around a subject as comprehensive as political science. It shares many points of common interest with other social disciplines. (1) History. The bond between the political scientist and the historian is obvious in the observation that history is past politics and politics present history. The political scientist frequently adopts a historical approach and employs the knowledge of the past when he seeks to interpret present and probable developments in political phenomena. (2) Economics. Until late in the 19th century, political science and economics (the study of the production, distribution, and conservation, and consumption of wealth) were coupled inter the name political economy. 7 Today, these fields are jointly concerned with the fact that economic conditions affect the organization, development, and activities of states, which in turn modify or even prescribe economic conditions. The political scientist regularly adopts an economic approach when seeking to interpret such matters as public financial policies and government regulation of business. (3) Geography. Geopolitics (a science concerned with the study of the influences of physical factors such as population pressures, sources of raw materials, geography, etc., upon domestic and foreign politics) indicates one approach which a political scientist frequently must adopt to help explain such phenomena as the early growth of democracy in Great Britain and the United States and its retarded growth in certain Continental Europe, and the rise of authoritarian governments in developing countries. (4) Sociology and anthropology. The political scientist, the sociologist (who specializes in the study of society as a whole), and the anthropologist (who studies mankind in relation to physical, social, and cultural development) are all deeply concerned with the origins and nature of social control and governmental authority, with the abiding influences of race and culture upon society, and with the patterns of collective human behavior. (5) Psychology. The political scientist as well as the psychologist promotes studies of the mental and emotional processes motivating the political behavior of individuals and groups. One of the many topics which the political scientist handles from a psychological approach is that of public opinion, pressure groups, and propaganda. (6) Philosophy. The concepts and doctrines of Plato, Aristotle and Locke (and other universal thinkers about the state) are important to the specialist in academic philosophy and also to the political scientist. These concepts are the underlying forces in the framing of constitutions and laws. The political scientist considers the branch of philosophy called ethics, too, when he contemplates the moral background of proposed changes in social legislation. (7) Statistics and logic. The political theorist must possess a broad scientific background and knowledge of current political problems, and he must employ 2

scientific methods in gathering and evaluating data and in drawing conclusions. These involve a proper application of statistical procedures for the quantitative measurement of social phenomena and of logical procedures for the analysis of reasoning. 8 (8) Jurisprudence. This branch of public law is concerned with the analysis of existing legal systems and also with the ethical, historical, sociological, and psychological foundations of law. 9 A comprehension of the nature of law) whether the natural law or the divine law) and of statues enacted by legislatures is indispensable to the political theorist. 10 Law and state are inseparable. All states proclaim laws, effective within their jurisdictions, and enforce them through a system of penalties or sanctions. To maintain a full understanding of the facts of political life, the political scientist has to combine the legal with the extra-legal viewpoints. 11

Function and importance of political science. (1) The function of political science is to discover the principles that should be adhered to in public affairs and to study the operations of government in order to demonstrate what is good, to criticize what bad or inefficient, and to suggest improvements. (2) Its findings and conclusions may be of immense practical use to constitution-markers, legislators, executives, and judges who need models or norms that can be applied to immediate situations. Again, they may be of immense practical use to individuals who seek to understand that state in which they live. (3) The study of political science deals also with problems of social welfare, governmental economic programs, international cooperation, and a wide range of other matters that are urgent concern to public officials and to private citizens. 12

Goal in study of political science courses. Why should the university or college student study political science? What good will it do him or her, in later life? Will it help in getting a job in getting ahead? Are political science courses practical (i.e., vocational)? (1) Education for citizenship. In answer, it should be made clear that the primary objective of the political science curriculum is education for citizenship. The preparation of students for careers in politics, law, teaching, the civil service, and the foreign service (though vitally important) is secondary to the task of equipping them to discharge the obligations of democratic citizenship, which grows constantly heavier in the modern world. (2) Essential parts of liberal education. Most political science courses should be viewed as essential parts of liberal education, bearing no materialistic price tag and promising no job security. Such shop-worn adjectives as practical and cultural have no relevance here. Intelligent, responsible citizenship can save democracy; ignorance and negligence can lose it. 3

Democracy has practical advantages which no one can appraise in monetary terms. Just how much is freedom worth? The oft-repeated but seldom comprehended quotation,eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, requires amendment. Study, information, and understanding of the complexities of modern government and politics are necessary as eternal vigilance. (3) Knowledge as understanding of government. Political science seeks to gather and impart this knowledge and understanding. The good citizen who behaves himself and votes regularly is no longer enough. He must know how his government really operates, what interests and forces are behind particular policies, what the results of such policies are likely to be, what his rights and obligations are, who his elected representatives are, what they stand for. 13


Meaning of state. A state is a community of persons more or less numerous, permanently occupying a definite portion of territory, having a government of their own to which the great body of inhabitants render obedience, and enjoying freedom from external control. 14 The Philippines is a state.

Elements of state. The modern state has four (4) essential elements. They are: (1) People. This refers to the inhabitants living within the state. Without people there can be no functionaries to govern and no subjects to be governed. There is no requirement as to the number of people that should compose a state. Ideally, it should be neither too small nor too large: small enough to be wellgoverned and large enough to be self-sufficing. 15 Reputedly the smallest state in point of population is the Vatican. Its estimated 900 citizens, mainly clerics and some Swiss guards, are ruled by Pope. 16 The island Republic of Nauru17 has a total population of only about 9,000. China is the largest in point of population placed at 1,314,480,000 at the end of 2006 according to Chinas National Bureau of Statistics. The Philippines is estimated to have a population of about 88,574,614 as of August 1, 2007, 18 composed mostly of Malays and Chinese; (2) Territory. It includes not only the fixed portion of land over which the jurisdiction of the state extends (territorial domain), but also the rivers and lakes therein, a certain area of the sea which abuts upon its coasts (fluvial and maritime domain), and the air space above the land and the waters. (Aerial domain). Thus the domain of the state may be described as terrestrial, fluvial, maritime, and aerial. The smallest state in point of territory is Vatican, located just outside the western boundary of Rome with an area of only 0.17 square mile or 0.44 square 4

kilometer. It would fit in Rizal Park in Manila. It is the smallest independent nation in the world. The Republic of Nauru has an area of about 8 square miles or 21 square kilometers. The former Soviet Union19 was the largest state in point or territory with its total land area of about 8,599,610 square miles or 22,273,674 square kilometers. Canada has an area of about 3,849,674 square miles or about 9,970,610 square kilometers20 which covers a surface nearly as large as Europe. The Philippines has a total land area of about 115,813 square miles or about 299,955 square kilometers; (3) Government. It refers to the agency through which the will of the state is formulated, expressed and carried out. The word is sometimes used to refer to the person or aggregate of those persons in whose hands are placed for the time being the function of political control. This body of men is usually spoken of as administration. The ordinary citizens of a country are a part of the state., but are not part of the government; and (4) Sovereignty. The term may be defined as the supreme power of the state to command and enforce obedience to its will from people within its jurisdiction and corollarily, to have freedom from foreign control. It has, therefore, two manifestations: (a) Internal or the power of the state to rule within its territory; and (b) External or the freedom of the state to carry out its activities without subjection to or control by other states. External sovereignty is often referred to as independence. These internal and external aspects of sovereignty are not absolutely true in practice because of the development of international relations and consequently, of international law.

Origin of states. There are several theories concerning the origin of states, among which are: (1) Divine right theory. It holds that the state is of divine creation and the ruler is ordained by God to govern the people. Reference has been made by advocates of this theory to the laws which Moses received at Mount Sinai; (2) Necessity or force theory. It maintains that states must have been created through force, by some great warriors who imposed their will upon the weak; (3) Paternalistic theory. It attributes the origin of states to the enlargement of the family which remained under the authority of the father or mother. By natural stages, the family grew into a clan, then developed into a tribe which broadened into a nation, and the nation became a state; and (4) Social contract theory. It asserts that the early states must have been formed by deliberate and voluntary compact among the people to form a society and organize government for their common good. This theory justifies the right of the people to revolt against a bad ruler.

It is not known exactly which of the above theories is the correct one. History, however, has shown that the elements of all the theories have played an important part in the formation and development of states.

States distinguished from nation. Nation should not also be confused with state as they are not the same. (1) The state is a political concept, while nation is an ethnic concept. A nation is a group of people bound together by certain characteristics such as common social origin, language, customs, and traditions, and who believe that they are one and distinct from others. The term is more strictly synonymous with people; (2) A state is not subject to external control while nation may or may not be independent of external control; and (3) A single state may consist of one or more nations or peoples and conversely, a single nation may be made up of several states. The United States is a melting pot of several nationalities. On the other hand, the Arab nation is divided politically into several sovereign states. Among them are: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and others. The Philippines is a state composed of one nation. (4) In common usage, however, the two terms are often used synonymously. The Constitution uses them interchangeably.

State distinguished from government. In common speech, they are usually regarded as identical. As ordinarily, the acts of the government (within the limits of the delegation of powers) are the acts of the state, the former is meant when the latter is mentioned, and vice versa. The government is only the agency through which the states articulate its will. The former is the agent, the latter is the principal. A state cannot exist without a government, but it is possible to have a government without a state. Thus, we had various governments at different periods of our history, from pre-Spanish times to the present. There was no Philippine state during those periods when we were under foreign domination. A government may change, its form may change, but the state, as long as its elements are present, remains the same.

Purpose and necessity of government. (1) Advancement of the public welfare. Government exists and should continue to exist for the benefit of the people governed. It is necessary for (a) the protection of society and its members, the security of persons and property, the administration of justice, the preservation of the state from external danger, dealings of the state with foreign powers (constituent functions) and (b) the advancement of the physical, economic, social, and cultural well0being of the people. (ministrant functions) 6

(2) Consequence of absence. Government exists to do these things which by their very nature, it is better equipped to administer for the public welfare than any private individual or group of individuals. It is obvious that without an organized structure of government, anarchy and disorder, and a general feeling of fear and insecurity will prevail in society, progress and development will not be possible, and values taken for granted in a free modern society such as truth, freedom, justice, equality, rule of law, and human dignity can never be enjoyed. The need for government is so apparent that even the most primitive societies, history shows, had some form of it.

Forms of government. The principal forms are the following: (1) As to number of persons exercising sovereign powers: (a) Monarchy or one in which the supreme and final authority is in the hands of a single person without regard to the source of his election of the nature or duration of his tenure. Monarchies are further classified into: 1) Absolute monarchy or one in which the ruler rules by divine right; and 2) Limited monarchy or one in which the ruler rules in accordance with a constitution; (b) Aristocracy or one in which political power is exercised by a few privileged class which is known as an aristocracy or oligarchy; and (c) Democracy or one in which political power is exercised by a majority of the people. 21 Democratic governments are further classified into: 1) Direct or pure democracy or one in which the will of the state is formulated or expressed directly and immediately through the people in a mass meeting or primary assembly rather through the medium of delegates or representatives chosen to act for them; 22 and 2) Indirect, representative, or republican democracy or one in which the will of the state is formulated and expressed through the agency of a relatively small and select body of persons chosen by the people to act as their representatives. 23 (2) As to extent of powers exercised by the central or national government: (a) Unitary government or one in which the control of national and local affairs is exercised by the central or national government; and (b) Federal government or one in which the powers of government are divided between two sets of organs, one for national affairs and the other local affairs, each organ being supreme within its own sphere. The United States is a federal government. (3) As to relationship between the executive and the legislative branches of the government: 7

(a) Parliamentary government or one in which the state confers upon the legislature the power to terminate the tenure of office of the real executive. Under this system, the Cabinet or ministry is immediately and legally responsible to the legislature and immediately or politically responsible to the electorate, while the titular or nominal executive the Chief of State occupies a position of irresponsibility; and (b) Presidential government or in one in which the state makes the executive constitutionally independent of the legislature as regards his tenure and to a large extent as regards his policies and acts, and furnishes him with sufficient powers to prevent the legislature from trenching upon the sphere marked out by the constitution as executive independence and prerogative.

Classification of the Philippine Government On the basis of the above classifications of government, it can be said that the Philippine government is a representative democracy, a unitary and presidential government with separation of powers. It also embodies some aspects of pure democracy such as, for instance, the constitutional provision on initiative and referendum. (see Art. VI, Sec.32.) Under our Constitution, executive power is vested in the President and the Cabinet, legislative power with the Congress composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives, and judicial power with the Supreme Court and the lower courts. 25


The pre-Spanish government. (1) Unit of government. Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, the Philippines was composed settlements or villages, each called barangay (consisting of more of less 100 families), named after balangay, a Malayan word meaning boat (thereby confirming the theory that the early Filipinos came to the Philippines in boats). 26 Every barangay was virtually a state, for it possessed four basic elements of statehood. At times, however, some barangays joined together as confederations mainly, for the purpose of mutual protection against common enemies. (2) Datu. Each barangay was ruled by a chief called datu in some places, and rajah, sultan or hadji in others. He was its chief executive, law-giver, chief judge, and military head. In the performance of his duties, however, he was assisted usually by a council of elders (maginoos) which served as his advisers. One could be a datu chiefly by inheritance, wisdom, wealth, or physical prowess. In form, the barangay was monarchy with the datu as the monarch. (3) Social classes in barangay. The people of the barangay were divided into four classes, namely: the nobility (maharlika), to which the datu belonged, the freemen (timawa), the serfs (aliping namamahay), and the slaves (aliping sagigilid).

(4) Early laws. A legal system already existed in the Philippines even in precolonial times. The early Filipinos had both written and unwritten laws. The written laws were promulgated by the datus. The two known written codes in the pre-Spanish era are the Maragtas Code which was said to have been written about 1250 A.D. by Datu Sumakwel of Panay, and the Kalantiaw Code, also of Panay. The unwritten laws consisted of customs and traditions which had been passed down from generations to generation. (5) Comparison with older ancient governments. It can be said that the laws of the barangay were generally fair. The system of government, although defective was not so bad considering the conditions in other lands in the age during which it flourished. An eminent scholar has written: The Filipino people, even in the prehistoric times had already shown high intelligence and moral virtues; virtues and intelligence clearly manifested in their legislation, which, taking into consideration the circumferences and the epoch in which it was framed, was clearly as wise, as prudent, and as humane, as that of the nations then at the head of civilization. 27

Government during the Spanish period. (1) Spains title to the Philippines. It was based on the discovery28 made by Ferdinand Magellan29, in 1521, consummated by its conquest by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi 45 years later and long possession for almost 4 centuries, until it was terminated in 1898, when by the Treaty of Paris, the Philippines was ceded by Spain to the United States. (2) Spanish colonial government. From 1565 to 1821, the Philippines was indirectly governed by the King of Spain through Mexico because of the distance of the Philippines from Spain. From 1821, when Mexico obtained her independence from Spain, to 1898, the Philippines was ruled directly from Spain. The council in Spain responsible for the administration of the Philippines was the Council of the Indie. In 1837, it was abolished and legislation for the Philippines was temporarily performed by the Council of Ministers. From 1863, the Ministry of Ultramar (colonies) exercised general powers of supervision over Philippine affairs. Three times during the Spanish period (1810 1813, 1820 1823, and 1836 1837), the Philippines was given representation in the Spanish Cortes, the legislative body of Spain. A basic principle introduced by Spain to the Philippines was the union of the church and the state. (3) Government in the Philippines unitary. The government which Spain established in the Philippines was centralized in structure and national in scope. The barangays were consolidated into towns (pueblos) each headed by a gobernadorcillo (little governor), popularly called capitan, and the towns into provinces, each headed by a governor who represented the Governor General in the province. 30