What is Political Science?


The word politics are taken from the Greek word “polis” which means city or sovereign state and the word science is taken from the Latin word  “scire’’ which means to know or study. So the word Political Science means to study about  the state.

Political science deals with the theory and practice of government and political system, examination of political behavior at local, state, national and international level.

Topics to Discuss

  • Definition of Political Science
  • Is Political Science a science or an art?
  • Political Science Career
  • Importance of Political science
  • Political Science Subjects
  • Political Science Major
  • Top 5 Books on Political Science
  • Father of Political Science
  • Father of Modern Political Science

Definition of Political Science

Different scholars have different views on political science and have their own definitions.

According to the French Scholar, Paul Janet,

‘’Political Science is the part of science which treats of the foundations of the state and the principles of government’’.

Paul Janet

According to David Easton

‘’Political Science is the study of the  authoritative allocation of values for a society’’.

David Easton

Is Political Science a science or an art?

You might have the question whether Political Science is a science or art?

There has always been a controversy whether it is science or art. The father of political science ‘Aristotle’ called political science  as the master of all sciences.  But also there are many other scientists  who rejected his view like Mosca, Maitland, Burke and Comte.

The answer is political science is not a science. Here are some of the reasons that will support my point.

i) Lacks universality in Laws

The natural sciences are described on the basis of laws which are universally known, but political science lacks certainty and universality.

ii) Not Predictable

Mostly the subject Political Science is not predictable. Generally, science is name of exact views and conclusion, but in political science, humans have no exact nature of forecast.

iii) No action or reaction law

Mostly in the sciences, every action has a reaction and every cause will further have some effects, but in political science , there is no such law.

iv) No Experiment in Library

In sciences, we have different experiments that are conducted in the  laboratory, but laboratory experiments are not conducted in political science such as physics and chemistry.

Thus the arguments given above prove that political science is not considered as an exact science like physics and chemistry.

Political Science Career

Political Science is now the major subject and it has a wide range of career choices.  In addition to  job in politics, if you choose political science as a major then following fields are available to do the job.

political science careers
  • Policy Analyst

Political Analysts have a strong command on writing, critical thinking and research skills as they make a statement about the nature and impacts of proposals for public policy.  According to Payscale.com, the average salary of policy analyst is $57,025.

  • Legislative assistant

Legislative assistant is hired by senators, representatives, assembly members and other elected officials at all levels to carry out different tasks and duties.  According to Payscale.com,  the average salary of Legislative assistant is $39,698.

  • Social Media Manager

Public show approval or disapproval of any policy by social media.  So politicians and political parties hire Social Media Manager to monitor the views of the public on any constitution.  According to Payscale.com, the average salary of a social media manager is $49,841.

  • Political Consultant

Political consultants plan the strategies for the candidates to get the attention and favor of public.  They help to attract people by campaigns.  According to the Glassdoor. The political consultant earns an average of $92,222.

  • Attorney

The lawyers who are working for politicians, public figures and interest groups called attorneys. They  do research on legislative and policy issues.  According to the BLS (Bereau of Labor Statistics), the average salary of Attorney is $120,910 in 2018.

  • Leadership and directors in Colleges

The directors at colleges and universities plan different activities for students like elections for students and other leadership programs. The directors keep discipline and solve disputes among leaders and students of electing council.  The director earns an average of $62,459, according to the Salary.com

Importance of Political science

The most important benefit of political science is to get deep knowledge and understanding of policies, law and constitution made by our government. We deeply understand the relation of community in the state.  We live in a political system so if there are any changes in the  global community, we will also be affected.

Moreover, it provides  a wide range of careers like business executives,  social media manager, policy analysts and many more. It also grooms your writing skills because there are lots of assignments given to students to enhance their creative ability.

Political Science Subjects

Following subjects are taught in political science during the program.

  • Western Political Thoughts

This subject is designed to provide the understanding from Greek to Modern period and it focuses on political thoughts of thinkers.

  • Muslim Political Thought

The major purpose to design this course is to give students an understanding about political concepts of Islam.

  • Comparative and Developmental Politics

The course is designed to give an understanding about themes or problems of comparative politics. It also intends to keep students aware about nature and problems of political science.

  • International Relation

It is designed to give an  understanding to the basic concept of political science in relation to international problems and solutions.

  • Ideology and Dynamics of Politics In Pakistan

This course is designed to give an understanding about  the constitution, Pakistan ideology, making of Pakistan and background of Two-nation theory.

  • Foreign Policy of major powers

This course is designed to give an understanding about foreign policies, military and psychological powers and basis of foreign policy.

  • International Law

The purpose of designing this program Is to give knowledge about the nature and scope of international law.

  • International Organization

This program is designed to examine the structure, function and nature of international organizations working like United Nation.

  • Public Administration

In his program, students study about nature , scope and role of administration in modern state.

i) Defense and Strategic Studies

This program is designed to give an understanding of defense strategies, political strategies, national interest and national goals.

ii) Modern Political Thought

This program is designed to give an understanding about recent trends in political thoughts and ideologies of different cultures.

iii) Pakistan Movement

This program provides students an understanding about ideological, social, Islamic, cultural and economical bases of Muslim struggle.

iv) External Relations of Pakistan

This program provides the detailed study of Pakistan’s relation with other countries.

Political Science Major

Political Science have 5 major sub-fields which are listed below:

  1. Political Theory

It deals with the  contributions of many classical and contemporary philosophers and thinkers.

2. Comparative Politics

Science of comparing and teaching of legislatures, constitutions, politics and associated fields.

3. International Relations

This subject deals with the relation between nation and state. It also deals with intergovernmental and transnational organization.

4. Political Economy and Public Policy

It deals with both economics and political science. The students are given understanding about  the advantages and disadvantages of public policy making in liberal democracies.

5. Political Sociology and Political Anthropology

It deals with fieldwork study of politics  based on a wide range of social and cultural context.

Top 5 Books on Political Science

  1. The Prince  by Niccolo Machiavelli
  2. Politics by Aristotle
  3. Why Nations  Fail? By Daron Acemoglu
  4. On Liberty by J.S. Mills
  5. Theory of International Politics by Kenneth N.Waltz

Father of Political Science

Aristotle is known as the Father of Political Science. His father was a Physician that is why Aristotle got  an opportunity to examine closely every science and logic behind the things.  Aristotle gave us a real perception of life instead of imaginations and illusions.

Date of Birth

He was born in 384 BC in Stageira, a city under  the jurisdiction of the Macedonian king.

The accomplishments of Aristotle are given below

  1.  Aristotle first developed formal study of logic and logics given by Aristotle are predominate in the West till Mid-19th Century.
  2. For 2000 years, Aristotle’s logic was dominated in the field of logic.
  3. Aristotle also studied Biology systematically.
  4. He was the first to classify animals based on their habitat.
  5. Aristotle named approximately 500 species of birds, mammals and fish.
  6. Aristotle also contributed in the field of Psychology and he wrote a book ‘’DE ANIMA (On the Soul). He focused on bio-psychology.
  7. The work of Aristotle on Psychology was unchallenged for many years and many of his proposals are still included in modern psychology and influenced the modern psychologists.
  8. Aristotle wrote a book on’’ Metaphysics’’ in which he examined the abstract qualities of existence and  the principle of being.
  9. Aristotle also contributed in the field of geology. He was perhaps the first who closely observed the slow rate of geological change. He recognized that the Earth’s Surface’s features are not permanent.  His studies also included river deposit and he also said the geological changes are so slow that humans cannot realize it.
  10. He also wrote a book on ethic named ‘’The Nicomachean Ethics’’ and considered one of the most important books in philosophical work and ethics.
  11. He wrote a book named ‘’Politics’’ on political issues. The most important and prominent theory in his book politics is that ‘’man is by nature a political animal’’. He expressed his views on politics, well-being of the community and also citizens.
  12. He also wrote a book ‘’Poetics’’ on the systematic study of literature. In this book, Aristotle defined tragedy, comedy, poetry, drama, painting, sculpture, dance and music.
  13. Aristotle also wrote about Rhetoric in which he proposed that there are three types of appeals to speak with the audience.  The three types are ethos (an appeal to speaker’s character), pathos (an appeal to the audience’s  emotions) and logos  (an appeal to logical reasoning).
  14. Aristotle also presented many theories in physics.

Date of Death:

Aristotle died in 322 BC in Chalkis, his mother’s homeland by natural causes.

Father of Modern Political Science

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian writer, diplomat, philosopher, politician, playwright, and poet. He is known as the  Father of Modern Politics. He was a senior official in diplomatic and military affairs for many years.

Date of Birth

He was born on 3rd May, 1469 in Florence, Italy. He was the oldest son of his parents and he has two elder sisters and a younger brother.

The accomplishments of Niccolo Machiavelli are given below

The achievements of Niccolo Machiavelli are described below:

  1. In 1498, Niccolo was made chancellor and secretary of the Florentine Republic. He was then in charge of issuance of letters and also he carried out policy decision.
  2. He wrote his famous book of politics and philosophy named ‘’Pince” in which he wrote how to rule the community or state. What works should a prince has to be done as a state head.
  3. He was also the secretary of Dieci di Libertà e Pace and he went on many diplomatic missions.  He also took part in discussions on international affairs.
  4. He wrote many political treaties and proved himself as a historian and an intellectual philosopher of politics.
  5.  Niccolo Mischiavelli created his own modern type of political philosophies in his book ‘’Discourse on the first decade of  the Titus Livy’’.
  6. Niccolo also wrote many poetical fictional works like ‘’ Asino d’oro’’ and’’ Mandragola’’.

Date of Death:

The Italian national Niccolo Machiavelli died on June 21, 1527 in Florence, Italy. He was buried in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence.

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