ballbPolitical Science

What is Political Science? Define Traditional and Modern Views of Political Science

What is Political Science?

By the Aristotelian dictum that man is a political animal by nature, then it is accepted fact that almost all our activities are related to the realm of political science. Political science is one of the social sciences that makes an attempt to comprehend man’s behaviour.

Generally, the definitions of political science can be discussed in

two branches :

I. Traditional definitions.

II. Modern (Scientific) definitions.

I. Traditional definitions

The traditional definitions are based on the fact that political science is concerned with the State and Government or is the study of the functions and organisations of the State and Government.

R. N. Gilchrist, “Political Science deals with the State and Government.”

Garris, “Political Science deals with the origin, development, purpose and all political problems of the State.”

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Garner, “Political Science begins and ends with State.” Leacock, “Political Science deals with the Government.”

Paul Janent, “Political Science is that part of social science which treats the foundations of the State and the principles of Government.”

Gattel, “It is thus a study of the State in the past, present and future of political organisations, and political theories.”

Catlin, “Political Science as the study of the act of man and social control.”

J. Seeley, “Political Science investigates the phenomenon of Government as political economics deals with wealth, biology with life, Algebra with numbers and Geometry with space and magnitude.”

Paul Janets, “Definition even from traditionalists point of view more correct as it covers both the State and government. It could not have been construed as science of State alone or science of Government.”

Bluntschli, “Political Science is a science, which is concerned with the sate endeavour to understand and comprehend the State in its essential nature, various forms, manifestations and development. Dr Stephen Leacock, “Political Science deals with Government”

II. Modern (Scientific) Definitions

Almond, Powell and other modern American writers have studied political science by sociological, anthropological and psychological methods and criticized the traditional theory of political science or ground of parochialism and normalism. These writers maintain that the political theories in the past uncertain mainly on the State, Government, Institution and their legal norms, rules and regulation or political ideas and ideologies. They did not concern themselves with the performance of institutions, their interaction and the political behaviour of man. Therefore some modern political writers give attention on given some basic principles:

  1. The search for a more comprehensive scope.
  2. The search of realism.
  3. The search for intellectual order.
  4. The search for precision.

The main aim of the new generation of political scientists is to explain life in relation to the struggle for power. The consequence is to emphasise the study of ‘Political behaviours’ i.e., the behaviour of man in a particular political backdrop.

Read Next- Nature of Political Science

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