What is political science? (with photos)

Political science is the study of political behavior, political systems, and politics.

Political science is a branch of the social sciences practiced primarily in the United States and the United Kingdom. It is the analysis, description and prediction of political behavior, political systems and politics. Another way of describing this field is to call it “what politicians study in college”. Like the other social sciences, it is considered a “soft” science, meaning that it revolves around subjective interpretations rather than hard data. Due to the complexity of human behavior when it comes to politics, it will be a long time before it can be anything else.

A political scientist might look at how the number of press conferences a politician offers to influence poll numbers before an election.

The aim of political science courses is to prepare students for careers in politics, or to give them an awareness of the political process that might be useful in some other career. Politics is complicated, both in terms of rules and the strategies to be used.

The field as a discipline is relatively recent, with the name appearing in America immediately after the Civil War. The name quickly spread to the UK. While universities around the world have courses in politics, they tend to lack the scientific flavor of “political science” courses specifically.

Ancient Athenian philosophers debated many aspects of political theory.

Political science has clear antecedents that go back to ancient civilizations: moral philosophy, political philosophy, political economy, history, and so on. Clearly, many of history’s leaders were aware of the intricacies of politics, although circumstances tended to be more chaotic and military prowess alone may have been enough to gain control of a nation or empire. With the more recent establishment of stable states and the suppression of corruption, politicians have had more incentives to work within the system that exists, leading to this discipline.

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Political science courses typically prepare students for a career in politics.

One of the most influential works in the field is probably The Prince, written by Italian diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli in 1513. The book presents strategies for a leader to establish a strong empire in the face of various challenges. The main argument is that while a leader must appear publicly good and fair, behind the scenes it may be worth taking underhanded actions to achieve political goals. This argument has led to The Prince also being one of the most controversial political books of all time.

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