Science of Politics: old trends and new approaches By Mohammed Khalid Department of Evening Studies Panjab University, Chandigarh Political Science as a subject is an organized body of knowledge about the state and government. It analyses the public policy, law and politics. It creates an understanding about how groups of people govern themselves, how policies are made and how to improve the governmental policies at the local, state, national and international levels. It also concerns itself with the theory and practice of politics and analysis of political behaviour and political systems.1 The focus of political science is the systematic study of all the aspects of government in its broadest sense and by the best scientific methods available. It encompasses the origins of political regimes, their structures and functions, the ways governments discover and deal with socio-economic problems and interaction of groups and individuals that play a role in establishing, maintaining and changing the governments.2 The subject matter of political science has revolved around government which is the most fundamental human institution. Before originating in the 19th century in its present form, it was studied in the form of ‘politics’ in different parts of the world in some form or the other. The study of politics is originally found in ancient India and Greece. At that time much of the writings in politics were philosophical and theoretical with its chief interest as what the government should be? Its literature had tended to be utopian describing hypothetical ideal states and a good life in them. Imbedded in moral and political philosophy it was concerned with normative determination of what ought to be the characteristic of an ideal state.3 In ancient India, different texts have discussed about the intrigues and power politics in the courts of various kings and rulers. Kautilya (also called Chankya) is regarded as one of the earliest political thinkers, economist and king maker ancient India had produced. He elaborated in Artha Shastra as to how the king can control a limited sized kingdom, the ways a state’s economy should be organized, how the ministers should be chosen and war conducted and taxation should be collected and


distributed. The Artha Shastra is a primary source of theory and practice of political economy in ancient India. It is entirely practical in purpose with no overt philosophy. It discusses the human nature, its corruptibility and the ways in which the king can take advantage of such human weaknesses.4 Greek view of politics Study of politics in the West can be traced back much before Plato and Aristotle, but it was the Greeks who initiated a systematic study of Politics. 5 The City-States (polis) in Greek world gave rise to the political philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. The philosophy of Plato revolved around the creation of an Ideal State with a philosopher king at the head of its administration. He opposed the institution of family and property for the rulers and rejected democracy arguing that every body was not fit to rule. He suggested a thorough education programme to select the potential philosophers and train them to be perfect rulers. Plato addressed the question of justice arguing that justice in the soul is linked to justice in the CityState.6 Aristotle in his ‘Politics’ viewed man as a rational animal, and gave an account of political institutions. He emphasized that perfect human virtues can be exercised only in the perfect state and each kind of state has its own peculiar virtues and vices. Aristotle defined the constitution as "a certain ordering of the inhabitants of the city-state" or "the way of life" of the citizens. 7 Both Plato and Aristotle were the philosophers of city-states and viewed politics as such in that context. Roman view of politics The study of politics during the Roman Empire was oriented towards understanding history, methods of governance and description of operations of government.8 Polybius in his Universal History elaborated as to how and why the civilized countries of the world fell under the dominion of Rome. He listed the facts and events and discovered the causes behind them to draw lessons for the future. 9 Titus Livius (59 BC to 17 AD), the famous Roman historian also known as Livy, demonstrated in his historical accounts that the Rome had been destined for greatness even in its days of humble origin in the 3rd century BC.10 Cicero (106 to 43


BC) the Roman statesman and a famous orator wrote extensively about the politics and customs of ancient Rome. The Roman Empire which expanded through conquest and annexation between third century BC and third century AD encompassed all the lands of the Mediterranean. To control the system of administration the Romans evolved a legal system especially the body of civil laws (corpus juris civilis) which forms the basis of civil laws of many European countries till the present day.11 Study of politics during the Christian era The rise of Christianity in the first century AD had far reaching consequences on the politics, the state structure and political power throughout the medieval Europe. Though the Jesus announced that his religious teachings were separate from earthly political activity and advised cultivation of unworldly kingdom of heaven, the Christianity and its adherents were persecuted till under the Constantine (the Roman Emperor from 306 to 337 AD), who converted to Christianity and made it the favoured religion of the Roman Empire. 12 The fall of Roman empire which began with the sack of Rome in 410 AD gave rise to a more diffused arena for political study. The rise of monotheism in the Western tradition and influence of Christianity brought to light a new space for politics and political action. Saint Augustine of Hippo (354 to 430 AD), the most eminent advocate of Church brought a systematic method of philosophy to Christian theology. He confronted the charges that the fall of Roman Empire happened due to the embracing of Christianity by Roman emperors and took upon himself the task of stamping out heresy. In the ‘City if God’ he synthesized the contemporary political philosophies and traditions with those of Christianity. Augustine sought to reaffirm that the City of God was a heavenly and spiritual matter, as opposed to the earthly and political affairs, thus redefining borders between what was religious and what was political.13 Middle Ages and politics


The Middle Ages, roughly dating from the collapse of the Roman Empire to the dawn of Renaissance in the 15th century imply a suspension of progress and a period of cultural stagnation in Europe. In the early Middle Ages (about 300 years after the fall of Roman Empire) the loose confederation of European tribes began to coalesce into kingdoms. At that time virtually no machinery of government existed and political and economic development was local in nature. The only universal European institution was the Christian Church, and even there a fragmentation of authority was the rule. All power within Church hierarchy was wielded by local bishops with Roman Pope having certain fatherly pre eminence.14 It was during the High Middle Ages (beginning around 1050 AD) that the Roman Catholic Church organized itself into an elaborate hierarchical structure with the Pope as its unequivocal head. It also emerged as the most sophisticated governing institution in the Western Europe. Papacy exercised direct political control over the domain lands of central and north Italy and through diplomacy and the administration of justice in the extensive system of church courts it also exercised directive powers throughout Europe. By the 13th century the monarchical church had become an important European institution. The relationship between the church and the state was clarified as well as contested during this period.15 During the late Middle Ages the secular state began to emerge --even though it often was no more than an incipient national feeling-- and the struggle for supremacy between the Church and the State became a fixture of European history for the next few centuries. One of the results of this struggle was the intensification of political thinking. This thought focused on the secular state in its own right, independent of the Church or community of believers. 16 The independence of political enquiry was an important facet of major trend in late medieval thinking. Islam and Politics Islam arose from Arabian Peninsula in seventh century to sway the entire west Asia and create an ordered state. It viewed politics as noble and virtuous because it administers all the creatures, bringing man closer to good and away from the evil. In Islam the religion and politics are not separate and it seeks to regulate a


nation’s entire society, government and religious life in accordance with Qur’an and Sunnah (practices of the Prophet) of Prophet Mohammad. Islam admits of no sovereignty except that of God and does not recognize any law-giver other than Him. God in Islam is not limited to his being sole object of worship in the religious sense alone. He is also invested with complete ‘legal sovereignty’ in the sense it is understood in jurisprudence and Political Science.17 These twin facets of the divinity of God are the sin qua non of the Divine Entity and are also vitally interlinked so that a negation of either ipso facto infringes the very concept of His Divinity. Political System of Islam is based on three principles of oneness of God (towhid), Prophethood (risala), and caliphate (khalifa). The purpose of the Islamic state is the establishment, maintenance and development of those virtues which the Creator wishes human life to be enriched by and the prevention and eradication of those evils in human life which He finds abhorrent. Islamic state is not intended to be an instrument of political administration or for the fulfillment of the collective will of any particular set of people.18 Aristotle’s influence on the medieval notion of politics Influenced by Aristotle, the great Iranian Islamic philosopher, Avicenna (known as lbn Sina, 980 to 1037) was highly influenced by Aristotle. He tries to find out philosophical reasons for the practices of religion. Of his three well known works (the Shifa, the Siyasa and the Isharat) the Shifa contains the basic ideas of his political philosophy. He wrote about human management at different levels --the household, society and state. While the household consists of a husband a wife and children, other managers of human beings are known as kings. The king has to control and manage his state through his governors and their lords. The duties of a king are to protect human lives to look after their needs and to administer the state. Avicenna paid less attention to politics but in line with Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, he accepted politics as a branch of philosophy. 19 Averroes (11261198) also known as lbn Rushd viewed that reason takes precedence over religion. His extensive commentaries on the works of Aristotle were translated into Latin and Hebrew and greatly influenced both Christian scholasticism and philosophy and the


Jewish philosophers of the Middle Ages. He continued Aristot1e’s tradition of analysis and empiricism.20 The Renaissance and politics The Renaissance which began in the 14th century Italy is regarded as the rebirth of Europe. Dramatic political changes occurred in Europe during the Renaissance which spread to the rest of Europe by the 16th and 17th centuries. In this period the fragmented feudal society of Middle Ages (Church dominated and agricultural economies) was transformed into a society increasingly dominated by central political institutions. Renaissance theorists contended that the central task of the government was to maintain security and peace and advocated new forms of political organizations and behaviour, both in Italy and in the north Europe.21 It was during this period that Italian city-states were transformed to territorial states, each of which sought to expand at the expense of the other. By the 16 th century, Italy’s troubles further mounted with the tendency to free politics from any relationship to religion. This notion became an important part of thinking of a number of distinguished Florentine writers including the best known of them --Niccolo Machiavelli. Stimulated by the political crises of his time, Machiavelli sought to base statecraft or the art of governance on science rather than on the Christian principals. He focused on how to preserve the state by any effective means and became precursor of secular political philosophy which began to emerge after centuries of theological political thought in Europe. Considered as the inventor of modern politics, Machiavelli accepted the principle that the end justifies the means and it is better to be feared than loved.22 During the 16th century Europe underwent several dramatic changes as Protestant reform movements swept through the continent. The Romam Catholic Church and its ruling papacy could not withstand tremendous onslaught of reformers such as Martin Luther (1483-1546) in Germany, John Kelvin (l509-l564) in France and Huldreich Zwingli (1484-l531) in Switzerland. Though the Church launched a strong Counter Reformation movement, it could not manage to regain the spiritual supremacy it had lost during 16th and 17th centuries.23 The far reaching effects of


Reformation included the development of individualism and popular education. Protestantism stimulated capitalism and a strong work ethics, and transformed spiritual equality into political equality and democracy. The age of Enlightenment during the 18th century refers to the historical intellectual movement which advocated Reason as the primary basis of authority. Closely linked with Scientific Revolution, it was inspired by the revolution of knowledge commenced by Galileo (1564-1642) and Newton (1642-1727).24 It was a climate of increasing disaffection with repressive rule and Enlightenment thinkers believed that systematic thinking could be applied to all areas of human activity --society, government or the state. The movement helped to create the intellectual framework for the American and French Revolutions and led to the rise of classical liberalism, democracy and capitalism. It pushed the study of politics beyond normative determination.25 Advent of new approaches in Political Science The advent of political science as a university discipline began with the naming of university departments and chairs with the title of Political Science in 1860s shortly before the Civil War in the United States. In 1857, Francis Lieber was named the first Professor of History and Political Science at Columbia University. In 1880, first school of political science was formed at Columbia. The Subject began to be an organized discipline when John Burgess, Frank Goodnow, Westel W Willoughby, and others founded the American Political Science Association (APSA) on 30th December 1903.26 The Association’s journal The American Political Science Review (APSR) was founded in 1906 as an effort to distinguish the study of politics from Economics and other social sciences. The APSA provided an outlet for original research and a sense of common purpose to the students of political science. After the creation of the Discipline, the political scientists started delineating the boundaries of this subject and initiated their professional pursuits to make it more relevant. In the aftermath of World War I the earlier version of political science, which is also called the “progressive political science” was repudiated and a new era sought to make it more detached, scientific and methodical. The political scientists had thought that the War will end European autocracies thus pave the way for a


durable peace in Europe. Instead, there began to emerge the fascist governments in Italy and Germany and communist governments in Soviet Union. As the liberal democracy in United States emerged badly shaken from the War, they blamed it on the progressive political scientists for their hasty and superficial analysis and not understanding the situation well.27 The political scientists now renewed their dedication to establish scientific enquiry in the hope that the scientific knowledge would emerge and contribute to improve quality of life in USA as the new findings will be implemented in the governmental, system. Political scientists such as Charles E Merriam and Harold D Lasswell saw themselves as social engineers with a purpose of rational supervision of political actors. They wanted to install a professional identity for political scientists based on a science that was organized to aid the liberal democratic state.28 After the World War II; however, this sought identity began to crumble as numerous new factors emerged during and after the War. The subject remained stranded as a library based speculative and normative discipline until the mid-20th century. For quite sometime Political Science was disputed as a science. Critics of this notion saw the study of politics as being primarily qualitative and normative claiming that it lacked a scientific method necessary to be deemed as science.29 Emergence of Behavioralism The Behavioralism had started finding roots as early as in early 1900s. Arthur F Bentley advocated for empirical, value-free research. Bentley intended to move the Political Science away from the traditional notions of scientific explanation in society. He considered political science, with its 19th century reliance on formalist studies of institutions to be obsolete and stood for studying social actors themselves “for what they are” and “for what they represent”. He argued that social science, then, should be empirical, measurable, progressive, and concerned with the interaction and activity of a complex and overlapping system of social, political and economic groupings.30 A significant role was also played in this direction by many of those academics who had to serve the governments in various capacities and positions during the Second World War and returned to the universities and colleges after the war. Their war-time assignments had polished their skills in application of


methods of social science like survey, content analysis, statistical techniques and other means of collecting and analyzing political data. Having seen the game of politics closely, they used newly acquired tools to determine precisely as who gets political power in a society, why and how they get it, and what they do with it. This movement came to be called “behavioralism” because its proponents insisted that objective observation and measurement be applied to the full range of human behaviour as it manifests itself in the real world.31 Behaviorial enquiry can be found in David B Truman’s works, which revived Bentley’s group process theory of government. The Governmental Process offers a tool for analysis: a theory to drive systematic behavioral research. Truman’s basic argument revolved around the notion that because every individual attempts to become an accepted participant in a group or a set of groups, it makes sense to study political behaviour in terms of groups and group ‘interactions.32 Another behavioralist, Heinz Eulao, criticized the reformist (“utopian”) Political Science of the pre-World War II era. In his ‘Behavioralism in Political Science’, he argued that science can function only “in an environment that permits freedom of enquiry and freedom of speech”. American liberal democracy allows such freedom and thus is most suitable for scientific work.33 According to David Easton, “Behavioralism was not a clearly defined movement for those who were thought to be behavioralists. It was more clearly definable by those who were pposed to it, because they were describing it in terms of the things within the newer trends that they found objectionable. So, some define behavioralism as an attempt to apply the methods of natural sciences to human behaviour, while others define it as an excessive emphasis upon quantification and yet others regarded it as individualistic reductionism. From the inside, the practitioners were of different mind as what it was that constituted behavioralism […] And few of us were in agreement. Easton aspired to make politics as a science that is working with highly abstract models that described the regularities of patterns and processes in the political life in general. In his view, the highest level of abstraction could make scientific generalizations about politics possible. His main model was driven by an organist view of politics, as it was a living object. Easton’s behavioural approach to politics proposed that a political


system could be seen as a delimited and fluid system of making. His theory is a statement of what makes political systems adapt, survive, reproduce and change. His theory was highly influential in the pluralistic tradition in political science until the late 1960s.34 The dominance of the behavioral approach to study politics could be seen in the field of international relations as well. It tried to personify the states and study their behaviour. This approach has been quite visible in the realist and neo-realist research in international politics. The field of comparative politics too was affected by the behavioral shift as its protagonists gave away the legal institutional approach in favour of a more quantitative analysis. Rather than explaining the similarities and differences between political institutions the comparative politics scholars sought to ground such institutional differences and similarities in universal terms of political behaviour. Behavioralism remained a notable influence on the course content of political science throughout the world from 1953 (when system theory was first conceived by Easton) until the late l960s.35 This revolution stressed for the systematic and rigorously scientific study of individual and group behavior. Post-behavioralism In 1967 the Caucus for a New Political Science was organized as a response to behavioral hegemony. The behavioralism and its pros and cons had been dominating for too long the discipline’s mainstream in terms of language, method and focus of research. The Caucus wanted to make political science a more open and expansive discipline. In 1969 David Easton responded to the aim of the Caucus in his presidential address to the American Political Science Association (APSA). Easton coined the term postbehavioralism and made relevance and action its watchwords.36 Easton now wanted to make political science more relevant to and active in society. Henceforth political science was sought to be more tolerant to various perspectives on politics and political science. This happened due to at least three reasons: (I) effectiveness of the Caucus for a new Political Science at forcing the field to open up to more research interests; (2) a number of people entering the discipline which increased the competition for recognition among political


scientists; (3) an urge for openness which prevailed in the discipline after the behavioral era.37 The opponents of behaviorialism maintained that their can be no true science of politics. They contended that any form of experimentation in which all the variables are controlled in a political situation is not possible. At the same time the Political Science moved towards greater depth of analysis and more sophistication and under the social pressure continued to move towards a closer working relationship with Sociology, economics, history, anthropology, psychology, public administration and statistics. Political scientists sought new areas of expertise and the discipline opened up, allowing for the creation of many new subfields. Some political scientists developed sophisticated models of human activity to guide their research, frequently drawing on computer technology for concepts as well as hardware. The widespread study of politics as a system --with “inputs”, “outputs”, and “feedback”-- is a major example of the influence of computers on the discipline of Political Science.38 Various cleavage lines of different sorts were evident in Political Science from the very beginning. They coalesced and exploded in the 1950s, 60s, and 1970s sparked in large measure by the “behavioral revolution”. Harold Lasswell envisioned political science as a ‘policy science’ actively engaged in political process by speaking truth to power. The European, emigrant scholars who had sought refuge in the US played a significant role in developing one particular subfield of political science i.e. “comparative politics”. Notwithstanding it’s distinctly American Caste the American study of comparative politics has deep European roots.39 The growth and development of experimental research in Political Science has led the political scientists in the past to develop the Game Theory, Political Economy and evolve the study of war and peace. Over the years even as Political Science has evolved according to its own logic, it has not been isolated from the developments in the ‘real world’ and this interplay between events and trends inside and outside of political science has been complex. Due to these developments, Political Science came to be a federation of loosely connected sub fields rather than a tightly integrated field of study. Various


writings and research have contributed in evolution of particular sub-fields like electoral politics, electoral behaviour, study of political parties, and transformation of the concept of ideology in the Twentieth Century. The development of the subject has also been due to interplay between the new methodological approaches and tools on the one hand, and advances in theoretically based substantive understanding of politics on the other. Being a field concerning the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behaviour, Political Science began to dabble into various other sub-fields and allied disciplines. Its range and expanse with the passage of time enormously increased.40 Perhaps the most important and irreversible change in Political Science after the World War II was that the scope of the discipline expanded to include the study of politics in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the areas that had been previously ignored in favour of Europe and North America. This trend was encouraged by the Cold War competition between United States and the Soviet Union and its impact was more visible in the field of international relation and politics.41 Due to the expansion of the Discipline, the subject has become so complicated that even political scientists are unable to understand or become comfortable with its entire range of research. So much material is published in increasingly narrow fields that scholars in political science find it difficult to keep up with their own subfields, much less understand and integrate other subfields. Specialties and subspecialties continually emerge and a broader base of expertise result. Each subfield churns vast quantities of literature. What Aristotle called the “master science” is no longer sure of itself. It tilts to all directions and looks forward to have a give and take relationship with all neighbouring sciences. Within political science different debates emerged and subsided leaving their impact on the study of the Subject. The positivists like Almond and Eckstein divided Political Science along methodological and ideological dimensions. The positivists shared a common belief in the unity of theory and practice and in the impossibility of separating science and politics. In fact, the Positive Theory, going back to Comte, had embodied a commitment to rigorous, scientific understanding of the world and


that it may help in gradual improvement of social life. 42 The post positivists preferred policy analysis and that it has to differ quite substantially between the kinds of political system in which one lives.43 Constitutive theory, a classic formulation of which was offered by Lassa Oppenheim, emphasized that, “A state is and becomes an International Person through recognition only and exclusively”. The constitutive conception of statehood “deduced the legal existence of new states from the will of those already established”, and that a state does not become a subject of international law until it meets with the approval of others.44 Opposed to this contention, declaratory theory emerged as a reaction to the unprincipled implications and conceptual difficulties inherent in a strictly constitutive approach to recognition. It contended that statehood was independent, of recognition and that the act of recognition by other states in international system was purely declaratory. A state becomes a subject of international law the moment it meets the conditions of statehood notwithstanding its recognition by the international community.45 Globalization and political science The 1990s witnessed unprecedented attempts at privatizing state owned enterprises. It became part of a policy of economic liberalization in previously highly regulated economies as well as a reaction to the fiscal policy challenges imposed by international lending agencies (IMF/World Bank), European integration and globalization of financial markets. The decade underwent a new wave of concerns. The globalization politics gave a new task to political scientists to carry out basic work on the causes and consequences of massive changes in international economy, and increased flow of goods. The emphasis on the neo-liberal ideologies, deregulation of economies, and the end of Soviet bloc entailed by Soviet disintegration and the liberalization of trade was witnessed in the world around. Globalisation has produced a new domestic politics, with new actors like antiglobalization movements and new dilemmas for governments in the developed as well developing countries. These shifts have raised fundamental questions for the political scientists about the power of the state in a world of mobile resources and


new political interests and cleavages about prospects for development in the countries which are on the margins of global economy.46 The rise of global consumerism (internet/telemarketing, trade and commerce), emergence of global finance and currencies (Dollar, Euro), serious thinking about the global concerns (global warming, ozone depletion, wild life protection), controversies emerging out of outsourcing of skilled professionals and even globalization of education (setting up of branch campuses and franchises etc.) have greatly affected the teaching and research in political science. The international movement of labour has a definite impact on the globalization of markets, the production systems and political structures. The globalization studies in political science have provided new areas of teaching and research like: political theory of globalization; international cooperation and violent global movements; cyber space and politics of globalization; and global systems for sustainable development. 47 The economic impact of return migration of highly skilled professionals and study of four “R”s of migration i.e. remittance, recruitment returns and representation has become significant for the discipline of political science. Similarly the growing concern about global warming influence the national and international political structures which create new incentives for policy makers to aggressively address this issue. It has helped the Greening of Political Science and brought environmental studies in its ambit. Ever rising impact of mass media has led to study its influence on politics and political processes. The political campaigns, elections and media have come under a new focus in political science studies. Similarly, after September 11, 2001 an anti terrorism alliance vas mooted to stamp out terrorism as it was, according to the US, posing a great threat to the West and the United States. In Political Science terrorism, came under the focus leading to study its different aspects like; Jihad, martyrdom and political action; insurgency and terrorism; Islam and terrorism; and the rhetoric of international anti-terrorism etc. In the early 21st century, a new movement called “perestroika” has emerged within the discipline. The “perestroika” movement; begun anonymously in 2000, calls attention to two problems in the discipline: its lack of inclusiveness and its increasingly mathematical approach. In many ways this movement revives the


thinking behind the caucus for a new Political Science movement in its concern for the apparent irrelevance of the discipline in the wider Political Science context and its criticism of an increasingly quantitative orientation within the discipline. Those who are active in “perestroika” movement consistently point to the growing preponderance of rational choice approaches to study politics which in their view are becoming hegemonic within the discipline. While this movement has witnessed some success, it is not clear if it will succeed in altering the increasingly quantitative orientation of the discipline.48 In the recent past, Harold D. Lasswell (The Future of Political Science) has trieed to explore important question of Political Science’s role in society and different roles political scientists play.49 He viewed Political Science as a powerful discipline educating a large number of students every year and shaping the public policy debate at all levels of government. Lasswell’s examination of Political Science poses two fundamental questions. One is epistemological: Should political science adopt the empiricist approach that tries to discover cause effect relationship in order to establish “laws” governing political behaviour or should it adopt the interpretative position that aims to analyse the meaning of human action in a given society? The other is normative: for what ends or purpose is knowledge of politics sought. In response to first question, Lasswell sides with empiricism. He argues for increased use of surveys, statistics and quantitative techniques in political analysis. His work creates an optimism inspired by the possibility of reforming society on the basis of scientific truth. In response to the second question, Lasswell believes that the purpose of the knowledge acquired by Political Science is to promote world peace and defend “human dignity”. Further that political science properly practiced could guide and shape society for the better. Guided by this humanistic standard, political scientists should collect, categorize and analyse data on local, rational and international political phenomenon to develop maxims that could be injected into society’s complicated decision making process. Political Science “could be the problem solving discipline that, with the help of modern technology, would engineer a better society”, Lasswell concludes.


Political Science --the Science of Politics-- has traveled down the ages from Greek City States to the 21st century. During its journey of the last more than two thousand years it has undergone different stages, changed its course and contours, faced challenges to its legitimacy as a science, and was enriched by many other disciplines. Its course at times was smooth and dormant and at times volatile, rugged and zigzag. Its volume and space has continuously expanded with the contribution from political philosophers, thinkers, and scientists. Being a science of all political aspects of human and state behaviour, it has become an indispensable discipline for every thinking being to study.

References: 1. Political science is the study of governments, public policies and political processes, systems, and political behavior. (APAS) It is the analysis, description, and prediction of political behavior, political systems and politics. Laswell, H. Politics: Who Gets What, When, How, McGraw-Hill, London, 1935. 2. Pruthi, R.K (ed.): Nature and Scope of Political Science, Discovery Publishing House, New Delhi, 2005. 3. Many Athenians considered their polis, their city state, to be perfect –ideal in regards to military and cultural achievements. Plato, though, considered it to be otherwise. Skeptical of a society that gives no specific place to those with expertise in politics, Plato was well aware of the seediness of Athens; its arrogant nature, military and political faux pas and even its contempt towards its own citizens on some occasions. See, Jackson, R: Plato: a Beginner's Guide, Hoder & Stroughton, London, 2001; Apel, Melanie Ann: Politics and Government in Ancient Greece, Rosen Publishing Group, New York, 2004; Horsley, G. H. R: Hellenika: essays on Greek politics and history, Macquarie Ancient History Association, 1982. 4. Mabbett, I. W, "The Date of the Arthaśāstra", Journal of the American Oriental Society, vol. 84, no. 2, April 1964, pp. 162–169. 5. The two major pieces of epic literature in Western Civilization, Iliad and the Odyssey, ascribed to Homer, deal with legendry events, the wars and victories


during the Trojan War waged by the Greeks against the city of Troy. Hesiod, a Greek poet of 9th century BC instructively stressed on the importance of hard work and righteousness. He traced the history of the world through various stages. Thucydides, the Greek historian known for his History of Peloponnesian war, brought to his understanding a practical acquaintance with both politics and military sciences. He describes the military aspect of the war based on personal observations and statements of other players in the war. He gave leading figures of war, lengthy dramatic speeches which served as a medium for analyzing the public feelings and the issues at stake. Another Greek historian and soldier, Xenophone was a, disciple of Socrates in the 4th century BC. In his famous work Memorabilia (his recollections of Socrates and Socratic conversation) he defended Socrates against the charges of irreligion and that he had corrupted the young. Socrates (470 to 399 BC) who shaped the Western philosophy taught that every person has full knowledge of ultimate truth contained within his soul and needs only to be spurred to conscious reflection in order to become aware of it. His criticism of injustice in Athenian society, which was spurring the youth towards awareness, and corrupting their mind, had led to his prosecution and death sentence. Similarly, Euripides a Greek dramatist of 5th century BC represented the new social, moral and political movements taking place at that time. See, Griffin, Jasper, Boardman, John, Murray, Oswyn: The Oxford history of Greece and the Hellenistic world, Oxford University Press. Oxford, 2001; William Keith Chambers Guthrie: A History of Greek Philosophy, Volume 1, The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans, Cambridge University Press, 1962; Martin Litchfield West: Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1971. 6. For further elaboration, see, C. C. W. Taylor: From the Beginning to Plato: Routledge History of Philosophy Volume 1, Routledge, London, 2003. 7. The politics, (III.1.1274b32-41). (IV.11.1295a 40-b1, VII.8.1328b1-2). 8. See, Ian Scott-Kilvert (Translation): The Rise of the Roman Empire, Penguin Books, New York, 1979; Hammond, Mason: City-State and World State in Greek and Roman Political Theory until Augustus, Biblo and Tannen, New York, 1966.


9. "Polybius attributed the growth of Roman power to its political institutions." See, Almond, Gabriel Abraham: Ventures in political science, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, 2002, p. 29; for further rteading on Polybius, see, Walbank, Frank w: Polybius, Rome and the Hellenistic World: Essays and Reflections, Cambridge University Press, 2002. 10. Badian, E. (ed): Roman Papers, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979, pp. 400– 454; Dorey, T. A (ed.): Livy, Routledge & K. Paul, London, 1971. 11. For his views on politics, see, Cicero, Marcus Tullius, Cicero: letters to Atticus, Vol, I, II, IV, VI, Cambridge University Press, 1965; Cicero, Marcus Tullius, Selected Political Speeches, Penguin, London, 1969; also see, Kunkel, W: An Introduction to Roman Legal and Constitutional History, The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1966 (translated into English by J.M. Kelly), p. 157 12. This reading finds support in John 18:36, where Jesus responds to Pontius Pilate about the nature of his kingdom, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." See, John 18:36 (New International Version); Also see, Michael Grant, The Emperor Constantine, Orion Books, London, 1998, p. 126-127; John, Julius Norwich: Byzantium: The Early Centuries, Penguin Books, 1990, p. 34; Treadgold, Warren: A History of the Byzantine State and Society, Stanford University Press, California, 1997, p. 25. 13. Portalié, E, “Teaching of St. Augustine of Hippo”, in, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Robert Appleton Company, New York, 1907; Durant, Will: Caesar and Christ: a History of Roman Civilization and of Christianity from Their Beginnings to A.D. 325, MJF Books, New York, 1992. 14. Bishops were central to Middle Age society due to the literacy they possessed. As a result, they often played a significant role in governance. However, beyond the core areas of Western Europe, there remained many peoples with little or no contact with Christianity or with classical Roman culture. See, “Middle Ages”, Microsoft Encarta, 2007, Microsoft Corporation, 2006; Lawrence, C. H: Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages (third edition), Longman, London, 2001.


15. “High Middle Ages (967-1050), Expanding Power Base of the Catholic Church in Europe”, see, Madeley, John T. S. and Zsolt Enyedi: Church and state in contemporary Europe: the chimera of neutrality, Routledge, 2003. Available at, 16. Munby, D L: The Idea of a Secular Society, Oxford University Press, London, 1963, pp. 14-32. 17. Qaradawi, Fiqh al, “Understanding Politics in Islam-Fiqh al Siyasah”, accessed at,; John Esposito, “Islam: Beyond the Green Menace”, Journal Current History, January 1994. 18. Muhammad Hamidullah, “The Political System of Islam”, in, John L. Esposito: Introduction to Islam, Syracuse University Press, New York, 1998; also see, Engineer, Asghar Ali, “The Concept Of Islamic State”, at, 19. Zakaria, Idris: The Political Aspects of Avicenna’s Theory of Cosmology and the Human Soul, Penerbit Universiti Kebangsaan, Bangi, 2002; al Naqib, Abd alRahman, “Avicenna (370?-428AH---980?-1037AD), Prospects: the quarterly review of comparative education, UNESCO, Paris, vol. XXIII, no. 1/2, 1993, pp. 5369. 20. Fakhry, Majid: Averroes: His Life, Works and Influence, One world Publications, 2001; Nasr, Seyyed Hossein: and Oliver Leaman: History of Islamic Philosophy, Routledge, London, 1996, p.314; Irwin, Jones, "Averroes' Reason: A Medieval Tale of Christianity and Islam", The Philosopher, vol. LXXXX, no. 2, Autumn 2002. 21. Ferguson, Wallace: The Renaisance, Harper & Row, New York, 1963. 1-29 22. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, p. 60; Rahe, Paul A (ed.) Machiavelli's Liberal Republican Legacy, Cambridgr University Press, 2005, p. 231; John Langton and Deitz, Mary G, "Machiavelli's Paradox: Trapping or Teaching the Prince" The American Political Science Review, vol. 81, no. 4, December, 1987, pp. 1277-1288; Thompson, C. Bradley, "John Adams's Machiavellian Moment," Review of Politics, vol. 57, no. 3, 1995, pp. 389-417.


23. For Reformation movements in Europe, see, Simon, Edith: Great Ages of Man: The Reformation, Time-Life Books, 1966, pp. 120-121; Spitz, Lewis W: The Renaissance and Reformation Movements: Volume I, Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1987. For Counter Reformation movements, see, Dickens, A G: The Counter Reformation, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1979; Evennett, H O: The Spirit of the Counter Reformation, Cambridge University Press, 2008; Wright, A D: Counter Reformation: Catholic Europe and the non-Christian world, Ashgate Publishing Co. Derbyshire, 2005. 24. John Locke claims in his book, The Second Treatise of Government, that man was endowed with reason and hence has the right to decide the form of government that he should be under, while Jean Jacques Rousseau claimed that reason is what has led man astray from the state of happiness and bliss that he led under nature. Mayer, Nick, “Effects of the Protestant also Reformation”, at, see, mation.html?cat=34; 25. Surel, Yves, “The role of cognitive and normative frames in policy-making”, Journal of European Public Policy, vol. 7, issue 4, December 2000, pp. 495-512; Gay, Peter: The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, W. W. Norton, New York, 1996. 26. The American Political Science Association, founded in 1903, is the leading professional organization for the study of political science to promote high quality teaching and education about politics and government. It aims to strengthen the professional environment for political science and defend the legitimacy of scholarly research into politics and government. Details about APSA can be seen at, 27. Duvall, Tim, “The Discipline’s Community: The Effects of Method and Market on Research Relevance”, paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, September 1998. 28. Taken from, “The Discipline Of Political Science”, accessed at,


29. "On the basis of the philosophical approach, traditionalists prescribe normative solutions to political problems. In their view, no political inquiry into social problems can remain neutral or completely free of normative judgments or prescriptions. Guy, James John: People, Politics and Government: A Canadian Perspective, Pearson Education, Ontario, 2005, p. 57. 30. Bentley, Arthur F: The Process of Government: A Study of Social Pressures, (2nd edition) Transaction Publishers, New Jersy, 1995. 31. Behavioralism became an approach in political science which seeks to provide an objective, quantified approach to explaining and predicting political behavior. It is associated with the rise of the behavioral sciences, modeled after the natural sciences. Behavioralism seeks to examine the behaviour, actions, and acts of individuals –rather than the characteristics of institutions such as legislatives, executives, and judiciaries. Guy, James John, op. cit., p. 58; Petro, Nicolai: The Rebirth of Russian Democracy: An Interpretation of Political Culture, Harvard University Press, 1995, p. 6 32. Truman, David B: The Governmental Process: Political Interests and Public Opinion, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1951. 33. Eulau, Heinz (ed.): Behavioralism in Political Science, Barnes & Noble, New York, 1969, p.21. 34. Sarana, Rajiva Ranjan: Behaviouralism and Political Theory: Contributions of David Easton and Lucian Pye, Rawat Publications, New Delhi, 2001. 35. Engeman, Thomas S, “Behavioralism, Postbehavioralism and the Reemergence of Political Philosophy”, Perspectives on Political Science, vol. 24, issue 4, 1995, p. 214. 36. See, “The Discipline Of Political Science”, op. cit., 37. James Farr, Seidelman, Raymond: Discipline and history: political science in the United States, University of Michigan Press, 1993, pp. 230-33. 38. Baer, Michael A and Zeigler Harmon, “Computers and political science: A review article”, Computers and the Humanities, vol. 1, no. 4, March 1967, p.135; Janda, Kenneth, “Some computer applications in political science”, Computers and the Humanities, vol. 2, no. 1, September 1967, pp. 12-16.


39. Katz, Barry, “The Acculturation of Thought: Transformations of the Refugee Scholar in America”, The Journal of Modern History, vol. 63, no. 4, December 1991, pp. 740-752; also see, Abzug, Robert H: America Views the Holocaust, 19331945: A Brief Documentary History St. Martin’s, Boston, 1999. 40. The new areas which came in its orbit include: These areas included: political theory and philosophy, political concepts, political systems, ideology, game theory, electronic voting systems, psephology (voting theory, electoral statistical analysis), geopolitics and political geography, political economy, policy studies and public policy analysis, comparative politics or cross-national political analysis, national political systems (e.g. centralization, regionalism, federalism, core-periphery studies, nation-state analysis etc.), international political systems (e.g. supra nationalism, intergovernmental ism military alliances, hegemony studies), globalization studies, political development, post- colonialism studies, institutional theory, international relations, foreign policy analysis, peace studies, conflict analysis, strategic studies, diplomacy studies, international law and politics, public administration, local government studies, political party and coalition analysis, political psychology, political sociology and socialization studies, micro political or behavioural analysis, political history, interest groups/pressure groups, lobby politics (especially environmental politics/political ecology), bureaucratic studies, administrative and judicial behaviour, legislative processes and public law. It also studies power in international relations and theory of great powers. 41. The courses that emerged and became popular during the Cold War period include: The Cold War; Role of East European nations in US-Soviet detente; The US and Cuba, Vietnam and China; Nuclear Weapons and Disarmament; Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT); Indian Ocean as a Peace Zone, etc. See, Willoughby, Westel Woodbury and Fairlie, John Archibald, “The American political science review, Volume 100”, American Journal of Political Science, 2006; Gaddis, John Lewis: The Cold War: A New History, Penguin, 2005. 42. Gibbons, Michael T, “Political Science, Disciplinary History and Theoretical Pluralism: A Response to Almond and Eckstein”, Political Science and Politics, vol. 23, no. 1, March, 1990, pp. 44-46.


43. deLeon, Peter, “The Policy Sciences Redux: New Road to Post-positivism, Policy Studies Journal, vol. 22, no. 1, 1994, pp. 176-84; also see, Philips, D.C. & Nicholas C. Burbules: Postpositivism and Educational Research, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Boulder, 2000. 44. Crawford, James: The Creation of States in International Law, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp 15-24; Raič, D: Statehood and the Law of Selfdetermination, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2002, p 29. 45. Martin, Elizabeth A, “Declaratory Theory”, A Dictionary of Law, Oxford University Press, 2002. 46. Berger, Suzanne, “Globalization and Politics”, Annual Review of Political Science, vol. 3, June 2000, pp. 43-62. 47. “Implications Of Globalization”, available at, 48. Monroe, Kristen Renwick (ed.): Perestroika!: The Raucous Rebellion in Political Science, Yale University Press, New Haven 2005; Schram, Sanford F and Brian, Caterino, (eds.): Making Political Science Matter: Debating Knowledge, Research, and Method, New York University Press, 2006. 49. Lasswell, Harold D: The Future of Political Science, Transaction Publishers, New Jersey, 2005; also see, Farr James, Jacob s. Hacker, Nicole Kazee, “The Policy Scientist of Democracy: The Discipline of Harold D. Lasswell”, American Political science Review, vol.100, no.4, November, 2006, pp. 579-587.


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