Political Science

Political Science is a discipline which is concerned with the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of government systems and political behavior. Although the study of politics can easily be traced back to Aristotle, today’s modern study of political science is fairly recent.

 

Prior to the mid 19th century, earlier study was usually under the heading of moral philosophy, political philosophy, or political economy. Economics, which was originally a branch of politics, was called political economy, and had emerged during the Industrial Revolution with the rise of capitalism and classical liberalism. It was not until the end of the 19th century with the marginalist's revolution which we begin to see a clear break of economics from the political science domain. Two strands emerged out of political studies, one which emphasized the comparative and systematic study of the state and its role in the histories of human civilization. The other was closely aligned with history but also economics. Although traditionally closely linked to history, political science adhered to have a superior position to history and it was accepted, although not by the historians, that history established facts, but lacked political reasoning.

 

The American Political Science Association, and political science's preeminent journal The American Political Science Review, was founded in 1903 in an effort to distinguish the study of politics from economics and other social phenomena. In the mid 20th century, a behavioral revolution stressing the systematic and rigorous scientific study of individual and group behavior swept the discipline. At the same time the discipline moved toward a closer working relationship with other disciplines, especially sociology, economics, history, anthropology, psychology, public administration and statistics.

 

This site maintains links in the five areas under political science on the left hand menu.