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Chapter: 11th Political Science : Chapter 1 : Introduction of Political Science

Scope of Political Science

Scope of the discipline implies its jurisdiction or subject-matter.

Scope of Political Science

Scope of the discipline implies its jurisdiction or subject-matter. Political Science covers a vast field. Basically it is seen as a study of State. The state is located on a territory with its own people and a government to maintain and promote orderly and happier life. Hence the scope of the discipline takes a quantum jump. Further the human nature will not remain static. Men Change and the scope of the discipline keep expanding. As the subject matter of political science includes enacting legislations that binds every one and every other activity its areas of inquiry also includes fields like economics, commerce, sociology, law, etc.,


In the year 1948, the International Political Science Association mentioned the following as the Scope of Political Science;

·              Political Theory

·              Political Institutions

·              Political Dynamics

·              International Relations

As the scope of Political Science cannot be limited to the above mentioned sub-disciplines, the following diagram illustrates the broad scope of Political Science.

Political Science primarily studies the problems of the State and Government. State possesses the authority to frame rules for governing its people. The State executes its will through the government. The government is an agency of the State. Some political theorists such as Bluntschli have restricted the scope of Political Science to the study of State alone as they believe the State includes also the government. The government is considered the part and parcel of the State. On the other hand, other writers such as Karl Deutsch opines that Political Science deals only with the government. Scholar such as Harold Laski argue that Political Science is the study of both state and government. Despite the fundamental differences between the state and government, the scope of one cannot be separated from that of the other. The scope of Political Science includes the study of the past, present and future developments of the State.

Political Theory is an important component of Political Science. It includes political thought and philosophy and further explains the basic concepts of the discipline. Political Science examines the nature, structure and working of political institutions. It undertakes a comparative analysis of different constitutions and governments. The scope of the discipline also includes the study of contemporary forces in government and politics. This includes the study of political parties, interest groups and pressure groups. An empirical study of political dynamics explains the political behaviour of individuals, groups and organizations. Most importantly, Political Science throws light on the relationship between individuals and the state. Consequently, modem political scientists under the behavioural and systems approach have widened the scope of political science to cover many more aspects like political socialization, political culture, political development and informal structures like pressure groups, etc.

Moreover, the study of International Relations which includes diplomacy, international laws and international organizations also come within the purview of Political Science. It is also a study of Public policy explaining the governmental and non-governmental responses to public issues.


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