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Political Science

In antiquity, the Greeks referred to the study of politics as a "kingly art" because it was concerned with
the ways of good government. While the study of political institutions remains a central focus of political
science, the scope of the discipline has broadened substantially as more people are affected by
centralized political authorities that wield increased power in a global economy. Political Science
includes the study of values, ideologies, and legal norms; the mechanisms people use to enter the
political process; whether with guns or ballots; and the consequences of a global economy which
enriches some while impoverishing many.

The Department of Political Science and Legal Studies offers courses in three areas: American
Government, Politics, and Policy; International and Comparative Politics; Legal Studies, Criminal Law,
and Political Thought. Students acquire an understanding of the historical backgrounds and
philosophical foundations of a variety of political systems in the contemporary world. They develop an
ability to analyze events, issues, and global trends. In addition, they are afforded an opportunity to gain
practical experiences through both individualized field research and internships in the government, not
for profit, or private sector.

Because of its comprehensive nature, Political Science offers a solid undergraduate major for careers in
law, public administration, business, journalism and teaching.

Legal Studies
The Legal Studies Program is designed to give students an overview of the American legal system, to
help them understand the fundamentals of public and private law, and to acquaint them with the
historical and philosophical roots of contemporary American law.

Students in this program learn to read challenging legal material, including cases and statutes, as well
as works of legal history and philosophy. They also learn how to write briefs, analyze complex legal
arguments, and write effective essays in legal studies. The courses have in-class oral arguments and
mock trials in which students have a chance to simulate the roles of judges, witnesses, and attorneys in
the daily practice of law.

Students majoring in Political Science may select Legal Studies as a concentration. They must complete
the eight courses listed below for the concentration, in addition to the five required Political Science
courses and Senior Evaluation--for a total of fourteen courses. The program is open, as a minor, to
students majoring in other departments. They must complete the same eight courses required for the

Importance of Political Science:

Educate Yourself

Most of us are just ordinary citizens. That’s not a bad thing; it just means
that the majority of us don’t hold a political office. Our civic duties include
mainly voting, jury duty, and paying taxes. We, ordinary citizens may know
and learn about our political rights and privileges from a given form of
government that includes the political structure and processes of our state.
Without this knowledge we wouldn’t know which rights we have and more
importantly the battles that were fought in order to award us these rights.
As you can see, the study of Political Science is not only useful, it is
valuable. Political Science deals with theory and practice of Politics, as well
as the analysis of our political systems, behavior and culture. It is broken
down into several sub-disciplines; political theory, comparative politics,
public administration, internal relations, public law, and political
methodology. If you’re interested in studying political science, be prepared
to learn about its sub-disciplines as well. Political Theory covers the
contributions of various classical thinkers like Niccolo Machiavelli. To
learn more about Machiavelli, his way of thinking and his contributions I
highly encourage you to enroll in our Machiavelli on Leadership and
Politics course.

Together, these policies and sub-disciplines constitute the field of political

science. Politics deal with a variety of complex issues. Economics, Law,
Sociology, History, Anthropology, and Public Policy are all pieces of the
political puzzle. In order for our political leaders to make the best possible
decisions for their constituents they must be aware of any and all
developments in each of these areas. If economics is something that
interests you, check out our Micro and Macro Economics course
today. As citizens the knowledge that we gain by studying Political Science
is useful to both our leaders, and we, the citizens. It is important to always
be aware of our rights. Our right to vote, our constitutional rights, the right
to basic services such as education, health, and sanitation. Join others who
want to learn more about our constitutional rights, and how and why the
constitution was written by enrolling in a Biography of the US

Journalists, special interest groups, politicians, and the electorate rely

heavily on the baseline ideology provided by political scientists in order to
analyze issues that may be presented to them. For this reason, political
scientists may often find themselves advising politicians, or running for
political office themselves. They may also be found working for political
parties, in governments, or as civil servants. A background in political
science will also enable you to add value to corporations looking to add an
employee that could give them insight into the social sciences.

What You Need To Do

If a career in Political Science is something that interests you be prepared to

search for a college or university that offers Bachelors of Arts programs in
Political Science. Since political science is comprised of several different
studies, some colleges may not have a separate School or College of Arts
and Sciences. The department may instead be housed within a division or
school of Humanities or Liberal Arts. If you’re getting ready to begin your
quest for the best college, our How to Choose a College or a
University course will help to prepare you to better identify which college
or university will give you the best return for your investment.

Share the Knowledge

Think you’ve learned all there is to know about political science (that’s a
trick question, you see you can never truly know everything about political
science and its sub-disciplines since they’re always evolving), then it’s time
to share your knowledge with others.

Knowledge of State, Government and Administration

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘Power to the People’ before. Well, have
you ever stopped to think of how people gain their power? Through
knowledge, that’s how! Share your knowledge with the people in your area
and give them the power to make informed decisions on subjects that may
directly or indirectly have an impact on them. If you have decided to put
your political science expertise to use by working for a government official,
educate them as well. The political leaders, diplomats, and elected officials
whose job it is to conduct the affairs of the State should at all times have a
sound grasp and knowledge of political science in order to perform their
jobs to the best of their ability and make the best decisions for their


The study of political science is especially important to our success as a

democracy. People who are informed of their rights and duties are more
aware and vigilant. A vigilant society is one that is more likely to prevent or
speak out against things that are unjust. We have to look out for one
another, our rights, our freedoms in order for democracy to work.

Be a Good Citizen

Be a good citizen, I cannot stress this enough. It is so easy in today’s society

to be caught up with selfishness and self-pity. We cannot become a society
who only cares about themselves. Political science teaches us to look out
for one another, show self-tolerance, adjust, and cooperate with those
around us to improve our society. What happened to us as individuals, and
how we are feeling do not have a big impact on the bigger picture. The state
of our nation, reduced funding for schools, and a reduction in state and
local subsidized programs have an effect on the bigger picture. Educate
yourself with what is occurring in your surrounding areas, even if it is not
something that directly affects you. Perhaps your city is raising taxes, or
cutting funding for one of the after school programs. Educate yourself on
why it is being cut and the impact it will have on your community. Band
your neighborhood together to oppose or support it and explain the impact
that it will have on your neighborhood. I think Ghandi said it best when he
told us to ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’. Political Science
allows you to be the change by giving you the power to educate others in so
many areas that have an impact on the state of our union.

Scope of Political Science

The scope of political science is vast and experts have divided the field of political science into five sub-
disciplines that are political theory, public administration, comparative politics, international relations, and public
law. It needs to be noted that these sub-disciplines cover the entire gamut of the modern political economy and
provide the basis for the study and understanding of how the global political economy works. The study of the
matters concerning the allocation and distribution as well as the transfer of power is one of the main
preoccupations of political scientists. The success or otherwise of the governance structures is gauged by
political scientists who examine the multifaceted and multilayered factors at work that contribute to good or bad
governance. The scope of the political scientists has now been broadened to include the realm of the study of the
democratic elections across the world. In other words, with the explosion in the political systems all over the
world, political scientists, and their scope of study has been considerably enhanced.

The Importance of Political Science

The importance of political science lies in the fact that all of us live within political systems and we are affected by
the changes in the global political economy. With the advent of globalization, there has been a concomitant rise
in the interest taken by the people of the world in understanding the political systems of other countries. Hence,
political scientists become valued and important as they provide the lens through which we can understand the
global political economy. There are many universities that provide graduate and higher-level degrees in political
science and in recent years, because of the renewed interest in political science as a field of study, there are
many takers for these courses.

This article sets the context for the subsequent discussion on the various aspects of political science and its
relevance to the modern political economy.


These are the varied definitions of Political Science as it originally emphasized by the Greek term
“polis” for city-state and “scire” means to “know”:

1) It is the science that studies the political power and authority of the state and government.

2) It is the systematic study of the institution, organization, processes and laws of the

3) It is the study of politics that may influence the government structures and processes in a
given society.

4) It is how the branches of government perform the various political task such as the delivery of
basic services.

5) It is the exercise of sovereign political right of the state and government to carry its task for the
improvement of quality of life in the society

Generally, the importance of political science is the application of political powers and authority in
the realm of government structures. The ordinary citizens may know and learn about their
political rights and privileges from a given form of government including the political structure and
processes of the state.

1. The knowledge of human rights and privileges will educate the citizens about their role in the
political affairs of the state particularly in political rights : a) The right to vote (suffrage);b) The
constitutional rights and privileges ( due process of law); c) the right in providing the basic
services such as education, health and sanitation, employment and other public support.

2. The study of political science motivates the citizens to participate in the political activities of the
state as to achievement the development thrust of the government in relation to the improvement
of quality of life.

3. The political science concepts on democracy, dictatorship and power structures give the
citizen full understanding as to the consequences on the individual political action as defined by
the political power and authority of the state.

4. The concept of politics may well be studied in the political science not simply in the art of
persuasion and influence that the citizens learn about also how these political concept area
applied in the society.

5. The comprehensive study on the branches, forms and systems of government provide the
individual better understanding in the concept of separation of powers, parliamentary system,
diplomatic immunity, human rights, general welfare, social services

From the understandings of these basic concepts of government, state, laws and institutions
those who would study political science must know its importance and function, relationship with
other discipline and broader understanding to its specific roles of individual in a civilized society.
The students and professionals should not only know the political theories but also deeper
insights as to its application in their own field of expertise. Thus the study of political science will
also include the empirical investigation of political facts through social research and the
application of critical thinking. The key words in the comprehensive analysis on the principles of
political science are state, government, law, institution, power relationships, legal process,
constitutions and politics. These are the important dimensions to study political science that need
to be constantly in touch to mold the citizens in achieving quality of life to our society.

The scope of Political Science is comprehensive, and it has great significance. In recent years, its
importance has multiplied. Man is a political animal, and in all spheres of his life he is, directly or
indirectly, influenced by politics. For several reasons, the study of Political Science has become
indispensable to social welfare and development.

1. Provides Information and Idea about State and Government:

Political Science provides valuable information and ideas about state, government and many
political organisations and institutions to the individual. State is the most universal and powerful
of all social institutions, and politically enlightened people are capable of playing a useful role in
social and political affairs.

2. Provides Good Idea about Government, Administration and Diplomacy:

Statesman, political leaders, legislators, administrators and diplomats are in charge of running
the government in different spheres. To efficiently conduct their business and discharge their
function, they need the knowledge of Political Science. Statecraft depends on political theory.

The study of Political Science is very important for the efficient organisation and development of
the political system, because Political Science is the science of state. Plato's Academy and
Aristotle's Lyceum imparted valuable training to future statesmen and administrators.

In modern times the future leaders of the country are being educated and trained about various
aspects of government and administration in different academic institutes and centers.

3. Builds Good Citizens:

The knowledge gained by Political Science helps in building good citizens. Now-a-days the
individual is not a passive spectator in regard to administration. He is inclined to influence its
decisions. It is therefore necessary for the citizen to learn about nation-building, the jurisdiction
and functions of state. Political awareness contributes to good citizenships.

The citizen should be aware of his rights and duties granted by the state. He should learn how he
will be able to win back his rights, if these are usurped by state. Vigilant citizens can prevent
encroachment of their rights by state and other external agencies. They can also prevent misuse
of power.

Therefore it has been said, "Eternal Vigilance is the price of liberty." In modern welfare states,
laws are not meant only to control and discipline individuals. Laws also help in taking several
welfare measures. Thus, the success of a welfare state depends on the awareness and vigilance of
people. Political Science also helps individuals gain good idea about the aims and objectives, and
functions of various organisations of a state.

4. Forges Harmony between Individual's Freedom and State's control:

Another objective of Political Science is to establish balance between state and individual. The
freedom of individual and power of state should be integrated and harmonised. Political Science
studies the limit of state's control over individual's freedom and the area of individual's freedom.

It educates the individual about the ideals of patriotism, toleration, sacrifice and national
integration. It enables him to be broad-minded, and to get rid of different kinds of parochialism
like regionalism, casteism and communalism.

5. Stimulates International Peace and Cooperation:

The study of politics stimulates international peace and cooperation. Political Science has
conceived the dream of 'one- world-state' through world peace and cooperation. It is now the goal
of many international organisations to free the world from the scourge of nuclear weapons and to
establish peaceful existence. George Bernard Shaw has aptly observed, "Political Science is the
science by which alone civilization can be saved."

6. Facilitates Social Change:

Political Science, being a dynamic social science, contributes to social change. The study of
Political Science enables the individual to have good knowledge about progressive ideas and
revolutionary changes.

This makes it easy to take collective decisions in social, economic and political fields. Besides, the
study of Political Science enlightens the mind of the man and enriches the pool of knowledge.
According to A.L. Rouse, "A people that neglect politics cannot as a people be happy."

7. Makes Democracy a Success:

Political Science increases the political awareness of man, makes him aware of his freedoms,
rights and duties and also reminds the government of its duty and responsibility towards the
people. Enlightened, conscious and vigilant citizens will make the government accountable, and
significantly contribute towards the establishment of social justice and equality.

Political Science creates conducive condition for the success of democracy by laying emphasis on
social and economic democracy. Two main pillars of democracy are conscious and alert citizens,
and a responsible government. In creating these conditions Political Science plays a vital role.


There is the need of studying Political Science in a country like India. As a result of the
independence movement, the colonial Britain left India, and democracy has been introduced in
independent India, but political independence is far from strong and stable as people are far
away from social and economic freedom and justice.

Progress has been made, but the road to meaningful freedom, equality and justice is long. It is
important that the efficiency, commitment and integrity of government be increased and the
people become conscious, dutiful and vigilant. The study of politics contributes to generation of
these qualities.

Political science and law

Political science has a relationship in the study of law. A stable political system exists once the
law is properly implemented in a civilized state. In the branches of government, its political
functions and powers are defined by law. The definition of law is a rule of conduct legitimately
implemented by those with political power and authority that are just and obligatory for the
common welfare of the state.

These are the classification of law that explains the relationship of political science:

(1) Criminal law defines as the violation or sanction of crimes committed based on the interest of
the state in order to secure peace and order of the society. These are the preservation of the
rights and privileges that are violated by individual such as crimes as homicide, murder, physical
injury, rape, arson, malversation of public funds, and rebellion . The application of this category is
the enforcement of laws to secure peace and order in the community. The government has to
reinforce the security of the society by law enforcement agencies such as the police agencies
and armed forces. It is the responsibility of the judiciary ( through the courts)to the interpretation
of specific crimes committed by individuals.

(2) International Law addresses the regulation of diplomatic relations and the varied political and
economic issues in the intercourse among nations. These are international regulation of state
along territorial jurisdictions, diplomatic relations, employment regulations, economic embargo
and tariff regulations and etc.

(3) Political law has two areas namely: the constitutional law; and administrative law. It studies
the governmental organization and administration along the constitution processes and systems;
and administrative regulation. In constitutional law, it relates the construction, enactment and
interpretation as to the legality and application of laws of the state. While administrative law
applies the execution of law and determine its violation of rights of the authorities.

(4) Private law relates the concern on private matters as provided by the statute of the state.
There are two areas in this law : (1) civil law which relates to the concern of family and the
protection of the private interest of individual; and (2) commercial law which deals with the legal
concern on commerce and industry.

(5) Remedial law deals with rules and regulation in all courts. It is more on judicial matter that this
law is implemented in the court pleading and procedures.

Generally, the executive branch executes the law; legislative branch enacts the law; and the
judiciary interprets the law. This is the reason why law is so important in the existence of state.

We all know that the origin of law is through the enactment of the legislative branch. It is based
on the development priority of the government to address the concerns on general welfare and
the implementation of the social services program. This is also properly address in the revenue
generation by proposing tax policy to could generate higher income. The revenue generated is
utilized as budget or public expenditures in social and economic services particularly the poor
people in the community.

However, the implementation of the laws approved by the legislative branch is carried out in the
executive department .It depends on the priority development agenda of the national leader in
relation to the economic and social service with the end goal of improving the quality of life of the
people. Finally, the judiciary mandates to interpret the laws enacted in the legislative branch and
may review in case the problem of unconstitutionality of the approved law by the congress.