Political Science: Scope of Political Science

Politics/Political Science has been a continuously developing subject of study.

It has been continuously growing, changing and developing in accordance with the changes in the socio-economic-political environment. Its scope has been changing as well as expanding.

Key Areas of the Scope of Political Science:

1. Study of State:

Since times very ancient State has been a central focus of study in Politics. Scholars, like Garner, believe that Political Science begins and ends with the State. Study of origin, nature, e and functions of State is an integral part of the study of Politics.

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(a) Study of the State in the past:

It involves an historical study of the origin and development of the State. The study of history of State is made through a study of history of political thought i.e. the political ideas of great political thinkers from Aristotle to the present.

(b) Study of the State at present:


State is the sovereign institution of all the people who inhabit a particular portion of territory and who are organised under a government. Study of the objectives, aims, functions and relations between the State and its people, are vitally important topics of study.

(c) Study of the State in future:

The study of the past and present of the state is done basically to assess or judge the future of state. State has been developing and it is bound to develop in future. Political Science tries to answer the questions: How the State is likely to develop? In what way should it develop? What should be its relations with people in the future? What functions should it perform? What reforms should be made in its functions? Future of State is an important area of the study of Politics.

2. Study of Government and its forms:


Government is an essential element of the State. Study of state essentially involves the study of government. In fact, government exercises all the powers of the state. It formulates the will of State (law­making function), enforces the laws (executive function), and realizes the will of state through adjudication of disputes on the basis of law (Judicial function).

The study of Government involves the study of its three organs: Legislature, Executive and Judiciary, in terms of their organisations, powers, functions, positions and inter-relationships. It also studies the forms of government like democracy dictatorship, monarchy, and parliamentary, presidential, unitary and federal forms.

3. Study of Political Systems:

Politics involves the study of all political system; working in all states of the world. It seek to study European, American, Asian, African and in fact all political systems western as well as non-western and developed as well as under-developed or developing.

4. Study of Political Thought and Ideologies:

The political ideas and ideologies of s political thinkers ( From Aristotle to Laski ,Lenin and Gandhiji) and isms like Individualism, Utilitarianism, Idealism, Democratic Socialism, Liberalism, Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Nazism and others, all are parts of the scope of Political Science. .

5. Study of Man as a Political Being:

Politics studies man as a political man just as Economics studies man as an economic man. Man is a social and political animal. Politics studies man as a political being and his all political institutions and relations.

6. Study of Political Parties, Interest Groups and Pressure Groups:

The scope of Politics includes the study all those organisations, interest and pressure groups, political parties and institutions which are involved in the organisation and functioning of the government of the State.

7. Study of Elections and Political Participation:

Modern studies of Political Science give added importance to the study of elections, electoral politics, voting- behaviour and participation of the people in politics.

8. Study of Leadership:

The scope of Politics includes the study of leadership. “In every society political leaders hold and exercise political power. Political Science gives special emphasis upon the study of Leadership and Political Elites.

9. Comparative Study of Constitutions:

Each State has a constitution which is the supreme law of the state. It lays down and defines the organisation, powers, functions of all the organs of the government and their inter-relations. The study of all constitutions forms an integral part of the scope of Political Science. .

10. Study of Concepts, Theories and Approaches of Politics:

For the study of Politics, several concepts, theories and approaches have been developed by political scientists. The study of these is essential for the study of politics. This includes the study of both traditional concepts like Sovereignty, Law, Liberty, Equality, Rights, and Justice as well as all modern concepts like Political System, Power Authority, Legitimacy, Political Culture, Political Socialisation , Political Development, Political Moderanisation and others.

11. Study of Political Behaviour:

Another important part of the scope of Political Science is the study of the actual behaviour of the people in politics. Study of voting behaviour, political participation, leadership behaviour, elite behaviour, mass politics, populism etc. form an important part of the scope of Politics.

12. Study of Political Similarities and Dissimilarities:

Political Science also undertakes a study of similarities and dissimilarities among various political systems, political processes and functions. On the basis of actual functioning of political structures and processes, the similarities and dissimilarities are explained, analysed and compared.

13. Study of the Environment of Politic:

The study of politics demands a study of the psychological, sociological, economic and anthropological environments, in fact, the total environment in which every political system operates. For studying this modern political scientist have developed concepts like Political Culture, Political Socialisation, Political Development, Political Modernisation and the like.

14. Study of Power, Influence and Authority:

Politics is the study of power relations and interactions in society; naturally it involves the study of power. Since power is closely related to influence and authority, a student of politics studies such topics a Power and Powerful, Influence and influential, and Authority and Authority- holders.

15. Study of Infrastructure:

All political activities taken place in an environment. The socio-economic—cultural factors present in the environment always influence the process of political relations and activities. All these factors constitute the infrastructure of politics which forms an essential part of the scope of Politics.


16. Study of Comparative Politics, International Politics, and Public Administration:

In its modern form, the scope of Political Science involves a study of comparative politics (Comparative study of the nature and working of political systems in all countries of the world), International Politics (Struggle for Power and relations among nations which constitute the International Community), and Public Administration (Study of the process of affecting decisions and policies of the government i.e. administration of policies and plans which are made and implemented for providing essential goods and services to the people of the state.

17. Interdisciplinary Study:

The study of Political Science needs a knowledge and understanding of other social sciences, particularly, Sociology, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology, Economics and others. A student of Politics needs some knowledge of other social disciplines for a real understanding of his subject.

Thus, the scope of Political Science has now become very broad. It includes everything that falls within the spheres of political activity, political relation and political process. It seeks to study all mechanisms of Politics with a view to build a scientific theory of politics, es.

Political Science is a dynamic and continuously developing subject of study. It is a social discipline devoted to the study of man as a political man. Politics studies all aspects of political relations of man in each society.

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