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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

what is Political Science Nature and Scope of Political Science

Jean Bodin (1530 – 1596)

A French political philosopher coined the term “Political Science”. Political science is a branch of social science. The study of Political science is of great significance and importance in the present day “Global village”.


Political Science is the study of the state Political science begins and ends with the state. It may be defined as the study of man in the process of governing himself.


Politics means either activities of political life or the study of those activities, which are generally treated as activities of the various organs of government.

R.N. Gilchrist

Political science deals with general problems of the state and government.

Aristotle (384 – 322 B.C)

Aristotle was the first thinker to use the term ‘politics’. The term “Politics” is derived from the Greek word ‘Polis’ which means city – state. Polis or city – state was a small independent self – contained political society. Greeks did not make any distinction between politics and society. These Greek cities – states of ancient times provide an ideal point for the beginning of a systematic study of political science. Unlike, the ancient Greeks, we live in large territorial states today. Greek meaning of the state can be extended to the study of the modern state. In the words of the French scholar,

Paul Janet

Political science is that part of social science which treats the foundations of the state and principles of government.

Scope of political science

Scope of political science is to study the past things that happened and use it correct the present and determine what the future will say about.
From the various definitions, it is clear that the main point of discussion in the subject is state.
The scope can be discussed under the following heads
  • Study of the form of the State as exits at present
  • Study of the State in historical perspective
  • Study of the ideal form of the State
  • Behavioral concepts

Study of the Modern form of State

(Study of the form of the State as exits at present)
  • Ends of State
  • Study of government as a means
  • Study of different forms of government
  • Study of relationship between the people and the government

Study of State in Historical Perspective

  • When and how the State came into existence
  • State in different Ages
  • Study of the change in thinking in different ages
  • Study of the Behavior of Bureaucracy
  • Study of Behavioral concept
  • Study of the methods of election and voting behavior
  • Study of political parties and pressure groups
  • Study of the Social Economic and Geographical conditions
  • Study of Developing Nation
  • Study of International politics & International Organization

Nature of Political Science

There are different views on the nature of politics Aristotle, Bodin, Hobbes, Bluntschli, Montesquieu, few is, Sedgwick, Jellinek, etc, hold that politics is a science.
But writers like J.S. Hill, Maitland, Collin, Barker, etc, maintain that is only on art.

Politics is a Science

Politics is considered as science on the following grounds.
  • Politics can be studied in a systematic manner.
  • It is said that experimentation is possible in politics.
  • Political Science, like other Sciences, has absolute and universal laws.
  • It is possible to make predictions in politics, but in a limbed are.
  • These are certain principles and methods on which political thinkers unanimously agree.
  • Politics is a subject which has scientific nature.
  • at present, politics has attained modernity.

Politics is not a Science

  • Politics has no absolute and universal laws like physical sciences or exact sciences
  • It does not observe the theory of cause and effect which is the basis of all Sciences.
  • The subject of politics has not developed in a steady, regular and continuous manner
  • Scientific methods of observation and experimentation cannot be applied to politics.


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