Political Science

December 7, 2017 | Author: Akbar Charisma | Category: Political Science, Methodology, Science, Politics, Social Sciences
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POLITICAL SCIENCE What and Definition of Political Science Political science is that branch of the social sciences that studies the state, politics, and government. Political Science deals extensively with the analysis of political systems, the theoretical and practical applications to politics, and the examination of political behavior. The Greek thinker, Aristotle, defined political science as the study of the state. Many political scientists view themselves as being engaged in fleshing out the connections between political events and conditions, and by this understanding they hope to construct a system of general principles that posit the way the world of politics works. Political science is not a standalone field and it intersects many other branches like sociology, economics, history, anthropology, public policy among others. Political scientists are much sought after these days because of the changing landscape of politics across the world and since the society wants to understand how the political world works, they need someone to explain the nuances of the political economy. Scope of Political Science The scope of Political Science implies its area of study or subject matter. It is a very comprehensive and expanding social science. An attempt was made by the International Political Science Association in Paris in 1948 to delineate its scope. It classified the same into four zones, namely, Political Theory, Political Institution, Political Dynamics and International Relations. We may attempt to describe its scope as follows: Political Theory, Philosophy, Institution, Dynamics, Administration, IR and IL, Relation between the State and the individual. Scope of Political Science: 1. Political Theory It deals with the definition and meaning of fundamental concepts of Political Science like state, government, law, liberty, equality, justice, sovereignty, separation of powers, methods of representation, forms of government, grounds of political obligation and various ideologies. A clear understanding of these basic terms and concepts is essential for the study of Political Science. A student of Political Science must start his lessons with political theory. 2. Political Philosophy It is concerned with the theoretical and speculative consideration of the fundamental principles used by Political Science. Eminent political philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, N Machiavelli, T Hobbes, J Locke, JJ Rousseau, Hegel, J Mill, K Marx, and M Gandhi have expressed their views on nature, functions and ends of the state and government. On the basis of their ideas, political theory defines political concepts. An important function of political philosophy has been to project values and ideals which political institutions strive hard to attain. 3. Political Institutions

It is also concerned with the study of formal political institutions such as the state and the instrument through which it acts the government. Hence, the scope of Political Science extends to the study of the organization and working of formal institutions like the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, and in these days, of the electorate and even the administration. The study of constitutions and political institutions of various countries (comparative politics) enables the political scientists to evolve sound and workable principles for the conduct of government. 4. Political Dynamics The term refers to the forces and processes at work in government and politics. They influence and explain political action. They include the study of political parties, pressure groups, interest groups, lobbies, public opinion, propaganda and political semantics (meaning of words) which influence and manipulate political behavior and attitudes of individuals and groups. More recently, there has been a trend to extend the scope of Political Science into new areas of empirical investigation into political behavior. Drawing upon the resources of other social sciences, Political Science has developed not only new techniques of analysis but new concepts like political culture, political socialization and political communication to explain political phenomena. 5. Public Administration Public Administration is a major branch of Political Science and is emerging as an independent discipline in recent times. It deals with the organization, control and coordination of administrative machinery, personnel administration, financial administration, public relations, management, administrative law and adjudication etc. It also covers the study of local selfgoverning institutions like corporations, municipalities. 6. International Relations & International Law International Law is a body of general principles and specific rules which regulate the relationship among states and international institutions. The study of international relations is a growing area of Political Science. It covers such important subjects as diplomacy, international politics, foreign policies and international organizations. In view of world peace, cooperation and even 'world government,' the need for strong international laws and sound international relations can hardly be exaggerated. 7. Relation between the State & the Individual The perennial and central problem, with which Political Science is concerned, is to establish proper relationship between the state and individuals. The state guarantees certain rights and freedoms to individuals and regulates their conduct and action through the legal system. The proper adjustment between the authority and power of the state and liberty of the individuals is a knotty problem. Political Science deals with the proper sphere of state action, the limits of political control and the area of individual freedom.

History of Political Science Ancient (Greek) The antecedents of Western politics can be traced back to the Socratic political philosophers, Plato (427–347 BC), Xenophon (c. 430–354 BC), and Aristotle ("The Father of Political Science") (384–322 BC). These authors, in such works as The Republic and Laws by Plato, and The Politics and Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle, analyzed political systems philosophically, going beyond earlier Greek poetic and historical reflections which can be found in the works of epic poets like Homer and Hesiod, historians like Herodotus and Thucydides, and dramatists such as Sophocles, Aristophanes, and Euripides. Ancient (Roman) During the height of the Roman Empire, famous historians such as Polybius, Livy and Plutarch documented the rise of the Roman Republic, and the organization and histories of other nations, while statesmen like Julius Caesar, Cicero and others provided us with examples of the politics of the republic and Rome's empire and wars. The study of politics during this age was oriented toward understanding history, understanding methods of governing, and describing the operation of governments. Nearly a thousand years elapsed, from the foundation of the city of Rome in 753 BC to the fall of the Roman Empire or the beginning of the Middle Ages. In the interim, there is a manifest translation of Hellenic culture into the Roman sphere. Ancient (Roman) The Greek gods become Romans and Greek philosophy in one way or another turns into Roman law e.g. Stoicism. The Stoic was committed to preserving proper hierarchical roles and duties in the state so that the state as a whole would remain stable. Among the best known Roman Stoics were philosopher Seneca and the emperor Marcus Aurelius. Seneca, a wealthy Roman patrician, is often criticized by some modern commentators for failing to adequately live by his own precepts. The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, on the other hand, can be best thought of as the philosophical reflections of an emperor divided between his philosophical aspirations and the duty he felt to defend the Roman Empire from its external enemies through his various military campaigns. According to Polybius, Roman institutions were the backbone of the empire but Roman law is the medulla. Medieval Europe With the fall of the Western Roman Empire, there arose a more diffuse arena for political studies. The rise of monotheism and, particularly for the Western tradition, Christianity, brought to light a new space for politics and political action. Works such as Augustine of Hippo's The City of God synthesized current philosophies and political traditions with those of Christianity, redefining the borders between what was religious and what was political. During the Middle Ages, the study of politics was widespread in the churches and courts. Most of the political questions surrounding the relationship between church and state were clarified and contested in this period. Medieval Europe The Arabs lost sight of Aristotle's political science but continued to study Plato's Republic which became the basic text of Judeo-Islamic political philosophy as in the works of Alfarabi and Averroes; this did not happen in the Christian world, where

Aristotle's Politics was translated in the 13th century and became the basic text as in the works of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Renaissance During the Italian Renaissance, Niccolò Machiavelli established the emphasis of modern political science on direct empirical observation of political institutions and actors. Machiavelli was also a realist, arguing that even evil means should be considered if they help to create and preserve a desired regime. Machiavelli therefore also argues against the use of idealistic models in politics, and has been described as the father of the "politics model" of political science. Later, the expansion of the scientific paradigm during the Enlightenment further pushed the study of politics beyond normative determinations. Enlightenment The works of the French philosophers Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot to name a few are paragon for political analysis, social science, social and political critic. Their influence leading to the French revolution has been enormous in the development of modern democracy throughout the world. Like Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, well known for his theory of the social contract, believed that a strong central power, such as a monarchy, was necessary to rule the innate selfishness of the individual but neither of them believed in the divine right of kings. John Locke, on the other hand, who gave us Two Treatises of Government and who did not believe in the divine right of kings either, sided with Aquinas and stood against both Machiavelli and Hobbes by accepting Aristotle's dictum that man seeks to be happy in a state of social harmony as a social animal. Unlike Aquinas' preponderant view on the salvation of the soul from original sin, Locke believed man comes into this world with a mind that is basically a tabula rasa. According to Locke, an absolute ruler as proposed by Hobbes is unnecessary, for natural law is based on reason and equality, seeking peace and survival for man. Enlightenment The new Western philosophical foundations that emerged from the pursuit of reason during the Enlightenment era helped pave the way for policies that emphasized a need for a separation of church and state. Principles similar to those that dominated the material sciences could be applied to society as a whole, originating the social sciences. Politics could be studied in a laboratory as it were, the social milieu. In 1787, Alexander Hamilton wrote: "...The science of politics like most other sciences has received great improvement.” Both the marquis d'Argenson and the abbé de Saint-Pierre described politics as a science; d'Argenson was a philosopher and de Saint-Pierre an allied reformer of the enlightenment. Other important figures in American politics who participated in the Enlightenment were Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. 19th century (America) The Darwinian models of evolution and natural selection exerted considerable influence in the late 19th century. Society seemed to be evolving ever upward, a belief that was shattered by World War I. "History is past politics and politics present history" was the motto of the first generation of American political scientists, 1882-1900. The motto had been coined by

the Oxford professor Edward Augustus Freeman, and was enshrined on the wall of the seminar room at Johns Hopkins University where the first large-scale training of America and political scientists began. Their graduate seminars had a thick historical cast. However, succeeding generations of scholars progressively cut back on the history and deliberate fashion. The second generation wanted to model itself on the physical sciences 19th century (America) In the Progressive Era in the United States (1890s-1920s), political science became not only a prestigious university curriculum but also an applied science that was welcomed as a way to apply expertise to the problems of governance. Among the most prominent applied political scientists were Woodrow Wilson, Charles A. Beard, and Charles E. Merriam. Many cities and states set up research bureaus to apply the latest results Since 1920 The American Political Science Association, established in 1903, is the largest professional association of political scientists 1930s – 40s Behaviorism Behaviorism (Behavioralism) is an empirical approach which is emerged in the 1930s in the United States. It emphasized an objective, quantified approach to explain and predict political behavior. Guy says "Behavioralism emphasized the systematic understanding of all identifiable manifestations of political behavior. But it also meant the application of rigorous scientific and statistical methods to standardize testing and to attempt value free inquiry of the world of politics... For the behaviorist, the role of political science is primarily to gather and analyze facts as rigorously and objectively as possible. "Behaviorists generally felt that politics should be studied much in the same way hard sciences are studied. "It is associated with the rise of the behavioral sciences, modeled after the natural sciences.] This means that behaviorism tries to explain behavior with an unbiased, neutral point of view. 1930s – 40s Behaviorism seeks to examine the behavior, actions, and acts of individuals – rather than the characteristics of institutions such as legislatures, executives, and judiciaries and groups in different social settings and explain this behavior as it relates to the political. 1950s Systems Gunnell argues that since the 1950s the concept of system was the most important theoretical concept used by American political scientists. The idea appeared in sociology and other social sciences but David Easton specified how it could be best applied to behavioral research on politics. 1960s Post-behavioral The rise of behaviouralism clearly introduced a scientific vigour in the study of political phenomena. However, it soon came to be realized that too much emphasis

was being laid on adoption of scientific techniques in the field of Political Science. In the process, Political Science was losing touch with the real social and political issues. Therefore, post-behaviorists made an effort to make Political Science relevant to the society. However, it must be remembered that post-behaviorism cannot be separated from behaviorism as it has emerged out of behaviorism. Through using different techniques and methods, the post-behaviorists have tried to overcome the drawbacks of behaviorism and make the study of Political Science more relevant to the society. Thus, we can see that the Political Science which emerged as a study of the state and government has undergone tremendous changes in the later period. Because of the contribution of different scholars its scope is widening and its nature is changing. In the present time, the focus of Political Science shifts from the study of the state and government to the political system as a whole as introduced by Easton. Method A way of dealing or doing something, especially a systematic way; implies an orderly logical arrangement (usually in steps) Method is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no part of which contradicts, and all of which is based upon, the selected approach. an approach is axiomatic, a method is procedural. Within one approach, there can be many methods. Methodology The words 'method' and 'methodology' may sound similar, but there is a big difference between them. A method is the way in which you complete a task, or the steps you take to complete a task. Methodology is the study of a method or methods Methodology is the science of methods Methodology is the systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study, or the theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge. It, typically, encompasses concepts such as paradigm, theoretical model, phases and quantitative or qualitative techniques. A Methodology does not set out to provide solutions but offers the theoretical underpinning for understanding which method, set of methods or so called “best practices” can be applied to a specific case. It has been defined also as follows: "the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline"; "the systematic study of methods that are, can be, or have been applied within a discipline"; "the study or description of methods". Approach A way of entering or leaving The act of drawing spatially closer to something Ideas or actions intended to deal with a problem or situation An Approach is a set of correlative assumptions dealing with the nature of the subject. An approach is axiomatic. It describes the nature of the subject matter to be taught. Approaches in Political Science

In the previous session we have read about the growth and evolution of Political Science. This session will introduce us to the major approaches to the study of Political Science. However, before studying different approaches to Political Science, it must be remembered that Political Science is a branch of the larger area of social sciences and is different from natural sciences. The methods and approaches to the study of Political Science or other social sciences are, therefore, different from the methods that are used in natural sciences like physics, chemistry or biology. The various approaches to the study of Political Science can be broadly classified as traditional and modern. The traditional approaches include philosophical, historical and institutional approaches while the modern approaches include behavioral approach, post-behavioral approach, systems approach, structural-functional approach, communication approach, etc. Traditional Approach The traditional approaches to Political Science were widely prevalent till the outbreak of the Second World War. These approaches were mainly related to the traditional view of politics which is emphasized the study of the state and government. Therefore, traditional approaches are primarily concerned with the study of the organization and activities of the state and principles and the ideas which is underlie political organizations and activities. These approaches were normative and idealistic. The political thinkers advocating these approaches, therefore, raised questions like „what should be an ideal state?‟ According to them the study of Political Science should be confined to the formal structures of the government, laws, rules and regulations. Thus, the advocates of the traditional approaches emphasize various norms - what „ought to be‟ or „should be‟ rather than „what is‟. Characteristics of Traditional approaches: 1. Traditional approaches are largely normative and stresses on the values of politics. 2. Emphasis is on the study of different political structures. 3. Traditional approaches made very little attempt to relate theory and research. 4. These approaches believe that since facts and values are closely interlinked, studies in Political Science can never be scientific. Various forms of Traditional Approaches: The traditional approaches can be subdivided into the following: 1.) Philosophical 2.) Historical 3.) Institutional 4.) Legal approaches 1. Philosophical Approach This approach is regarded as the oldest approach to the study of Political Science. The emergence of this approach can be traced back to the times of the Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. Leo Strauss was one of the main advocates of the philosophical approach. He believes that “the philosophy is the quest for wisdom and political philosophy is the attempt truly to know about the nature of political things and the right or good political order.” This approach firmly believes that the values cannot be separated from the study of politics. Therefore, its main concern is to judge what is good or bad in any political society. It is mainly an ethical and normative study of politics and, thus, idealistic. It deals with the problems of the nature and functions of the state, citizenship, rights and duties etc. The advocates of this approach firmly

believe that political philosophy is closely linked with the political ideologies. Therefore, they are of the opinion that a political scientist must have the knowledge of good life and good society. Political philosophy helps in setting up of a good political order. 2. Historical Approach According to the advocates of this approach, political theory can be only understood when the historical factors like the age, place and the situation in which it is evolved are taken into consideration. As the name of this approach is related to history, it emphasizes on the study of history of every political reality to analyze any situation. Political thinkers like Machiavelli, Sabine and Dunning believe that politics and history are intricately related and the study of politics always should have a historical perspective. Sabine is of the view that Political Science should include all those subjects which are have been discussed in the writings of different political thinkers from the time of Plato. This approach strongly upholds the belief that the thinking or the ideology of every political thinker is shaped by the surrounding environment. Moreover, history not only speaks about the past but also links it with the present events. History provides the chronological order of every political event and thereby helps in future estimation of events also. Hence, without studying the past political events, institutions and political environment it would be wrong to analyze the present political scenario/ events. 3. Institutional This is a very old and important approach to the study of Political Science. This approach mainly deals with the formal aspects of government and politics emphasizes the study of the political institutions and structures. Thus, the institutional approach is concerned with the study of the formal structures like legislature, executive, judiciary, political parties, interest groups etc. The advocates of this approach include both ancient and modern political thinkers. Among the ancient thinkers Aristotle is an important contributor to this approach while the modern thinkers include James Bryce, Bentley, Walter Bagehot, Harold Laski, etc. 4. Legal Approaches This approach regards the state as the fundamental organization for the creation and enforcement of laws. Therefore, this approach is concerned with the legal process, legal bodies or institutions, justice and independence of judiciary. The advocates of this approach are Cicero, Jean Bodin, Thomas Hobbes, Jeremy Bentham, John Austin, Dicey and Sir Henry Maine. The various traditional approaches to the study of Political Science have been criticized for being normative. These approaches were idealistic also as their concern went beyond how and why political events happen to what ought to happen. In the later period, the modern approaches have made an attempt to make the study of Political Science more scientific and, therefore, emphasize empiricism.

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