What is Political Science -Definition and Types

What is Political Science

Political Science

Political science is the study of governments, public policies and political processes. It deals with the distribution of power and resources within a society.

Political scientists study topics such as public opinion, political parties, interest groups, and elections. They also look at how policies are made and how they impact people. They also examine how different societies develop political systems and how these systems impact economic, social and cultural development.

History of Political Science

Political science has its origins in the philosophy of Aristotle. Aristotle used the word Politics in 350 B.C.E for the first time. In his work, Politics, Aristotle sought to explain the relationship between the state and its citizens. He also looked at the different types of government and how they functioned.

However, there were also many philosophers before Aristotle who wrote about political topics such as Plato and Socrates.

During the Middle Ages, there was not much interest in politics as a separate field of study. Instead, political thought was incorporated into other fields such as philosophy and theology. It was not until the 16th and 17th centuries that political science began to develop as a separate discipline.

The field of political science began to take shape in the 18th century. Political scientists started to conduct systematic studies of governments and their policies. They also began to develop theories about how government should work.

During the Enlightenment, thinkers such as John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote about politics in a more systematic way. They defined key concepts such as liberty and equality which are still central to political thought today.

Today, political science is a thriving field with many different subfields. Political scientists study everything from voting behavior to international relations. They use their skills to help solve problems and make better decisions about public policy.

Types of Political Science

There are three types of Political Science:

  • Comparative Politics
  • International Relations
  • Political Theory

Comparative Politics

Comparative politics is the study of different political systems around the world. It helps us to understand how different countries are governed and how they make decisions. It also allows us to compare and contrast different political systems to see what works best for a particular country.

International Relations

International relations is the study of the relationships between countries. It is a field of study that looks at the interaction between the world’s nations and how they affect each other. The focus of international relations is on understanding and explaining the behavior of states in the international system.

Political Theory

Political theory is the systematic study of the principles that underlie the organization and operation of a political system. It addresses questions about the nature of power and authority, the distribution of resources, and the design of institutions.

Political Science Research Methods

The most common Research Methods in Political Science include:

  • Surveys
  • Experiments
  • Interviews
  • Content Analysis


Surveys are a type of research method that involves asking people questions about their opinions or experiences. Surveys are often used to study public opinion on issues like politics, policies, or candidates for office.


Experiments are another type of research method that is often used in political science. Experiments allow researchers to test hypotheses about how people behave in different situations.


Interviews are another common research method in political science. Scholars often interview politicians, government officials, or other experts on politics and government to get their insights on various topics.

Content Analysis

In political science research, content analysis is a method used to analyze data that can be quantified. This type of data can be in the form of text, videos, or images. Content analysis is often used to study media coverage of events or to track changes in public opinion over time.

Political Methodology

Political methodology is the study of political methods and approaches. It covers a wide range of topics, including political theory, comparative politics, international relations, and public administration. Political methodology is a relatively new field of study, and it has only been formally recognized as a distinct discipline within the last few decades.

Despite its relatively short history, the political methodology has made significant contributions to our understanding of politics. Methodological approaches developed within political science can help us to better understand how political systems function, how political decisions are made, and what factors influence electoral outcomes. In addition, political methodology can provide insights into the impact of public policy on society and the economy.

Purpose of Political Science

It encompasses a wide range of topics, from the inner workings of political institutions to the behavior of individual citizens. Political scientists seek to understand and explain how governments work, how policies are made, and how political systems affect different groups of people.

Political Science is a vital tool for understanding the world around us. It can help us make sense of current events and understand the complex issues that shape our world. By studying Political Science, we can develop critical thinking skills and learn to make informed decisions about the issues that matter most to us.

For some, politics is about power. It is a means by which individuals or groups can gain control over others. In this view, political science is concerned with the study of how power is acquired and used in the political arena.

For others, politics is about cooperation and compromise. It is a way for people to come together and work out their differences. In this view, political science is concerned with the study of how people interact with each other in the political arena.

About the author

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer