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Old Tuesday, March 10, 2009
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Dear fellows our respected member of the forum azix_zee has started a thread Political Philosophy. In this thread he has mentioned the key points for the convenience of aspiransts. It is also usefull for those who have no knowledge about Political Science and they want to opt it as an optional subject. Keeping in view the importance of the subject I have taken another step to collect the key points of principles of Political Science. It will cover the Political Science Paper-I, Part-B whereas earlier thread will cover Political Science Paper-I, Part-A.

Political Science

Professor Garner:

“ Political Science begins and ends with the State.’

Professor Gettle:

“A historical investigation of what the State has been, an analytical study of what the State is and a politico-ethical discussion of what the State ought to be”.

Paul Ganet:

“It is a part of social sciences which treats of the foundation of the State and the principles of Government”.

Politics and Political Science
  • Political Science is an academic subject—politics is its practical manifestation.
  • Term politics, used by Aristotle and others as the name for the science of the State.
  • Difference same as between Politician and Political Scientis.
  • Political theory and Political Ideology

Political theory
  • It portrays the point of view of a particular theorist or school of thought
  • Gets benefit from political ideology.

Political Ideology
  • Wide in sense than the former.
  • Depicts the dominant political ideas of a particular region or an age.

Political Science and Political Philosophy

Political Philosophy
  • Professor Gilchrist, “It deals with the fundamental problems of the State and government, questions of duties and rights.”
  • It does not cover the entire field of Sate and government.

Political Science
  • Concerned not only with such problems but also history of political institutions.
  • History has no place in political philosophy.

Is Political Science really a science?

What is Science?

A systematic knowledge of things and forces of nature based on observation, experiment or reason.

Systematic method of knowing something.

Kinds of Sciences

Sciences of Nature: Natural and exact sciences e.g. Physics, Chemistry etc
Sciences of Society: Also called social sciences e.g. Political Science, Sociology etc.

Arguments in support of Political Science as a Science

Aristotle, “regarded Political Science not only a science but declared it to be the supreme or master science.”

Hobbes also believed the Political Science to be a science.
  • Can be a science if enquiry and research based on observation, experimentation and empirical verification of facts are adopted.
  • The whole world appear to be a laboratory.
  • Gilchrist, “Every change in form of government, every new law passed by parliament and every war is an experiment in Political Science”.
  • After systematic study of the revolutions the political thinkers concluded that poverty of masses and power in the hands of small groups—real cause (experiment)
  • Ibn-e-Khaldoon discovered universal laws regulating a cyclic change regarding the origin, rise and fall of dynasties.

Arguments against Political Science as a Science

Buckle, “In the present state of knowledge, Political Science so far from being a science, is one of the most backward of all arts.”

Maitland, “When I see a good set of examination questions headed by the words ‘Political Science’ I regret not he questions, but the title.”

Auguste Concludes
  • i. No common agreement among its writers and thinkers regarding principles and conclusions.
  • ii. Lack of continuity of development
  • iii. Lack of fixed laws and principles to predict future political events and developments
  • Its laws and conclusions are not exact.
  • Writers do not adopt any one method for enquiry and research-differ from one another
  • Political conditions: difficult to apply scientific method
  • Difficult to predict the flow of events due to uncertain political conditions.
  • Direct political changes makes researcher’s task more difficult
  • Political affiliations of a researcher affects his findings in research (impartiality: major essential of scientific research)

Balanced View about Political Science as a Science
  • It is science but not exact and definitely scientific in outlook
  • Its principles may not exact and universal but generally valid and useful in solving the problems of State and government.

Approaches/Methods of the Study of Political Science

1. Experimental Method:
  • The whole world appears to be a laboratory
  • Every new law and constitution serves the purpose of political experiment.
  • Much caution is required. Political phenomenas are very complex and influenced by economy, religion, races, geography etc

2. Observational Method
  • Lord Bryce and Montesquieu used that method.
  • A researcher tests hypothesis with reference to contemporary realities and gives his conclusions.
  • During the observation of British Political System Montesquieu discovered “Separation of Powers”.
  • Framers US-Constitution fully incorporated the doctrine of Montesquieu.

3. Sociological Method
  • The purpose and mode of State action corresponds to the physical features of individual’s life.
  • Ibn-e-Khaldoon developed this method and explained the nature and functions of the government with reference to the particular stage of human civilization.

4. Historical Method
  • Used by Freeman and Seeley
  • It provides the data and contributed for evolution of political theory and development of political ideas.
  • Most of problems can be solved while placing them in historical setting.
  • Study of evolutionary growth of different institutions—historical method provide clue to understand their content.

5.Philosophical Method
  • By Plato and Rousseau
  • Study of explanation of human behavior and nature is essential for explaining all political phenomena.
  • Ancient Greek constructed the political concept on the basis of philosophy.

6.Comparative Method
  • Used by Aristotle
  • He applied it and studied various political systems, while conclusion and generalization.

7.Psychological Method
  • Political scientists are motivated by psychological factors.
  • The followers prefer to explain nature and functions of political institutions in this set up.
  • Thomas Hobbes used this method.

8.Legal or Juridicial Method
  • Nature, evolution and problems relating to political system can be better appraised and analyzed by legal norms.
  • Muslim scholars appraised political changes of Islam in the light of the law of Islamic Shariah.

Utility and Scope of the Study of Political Science

1. Success of Democracy
  • Political powers cannot be claimed on hereditary basis.
  • Equip the decision makers and aware citizens politically.
  • Citizens not only to cast vote but to participate indirectly in decision-making process.

2. Political Consciousness
  • Develop understanding of political process and political relations
  • Knowledge regarding governmental affairs.
  • Awareness of right to vote.

3. Protection of Rights
  • Reject autocracy.
  • Effective for enforcement of rights.
  • Solid guarantee for protection of fundamental liberties.

4. Promotion of Knowledge
  • Broadens the intellectual understandings.
  • Enriches knowledge.
  • Analyze the political issues by utilizing research techniques.

5. Political Training
  • Educates the voters, to perceive their responsibilities.
  • Hold political office bearers accountable to the people.
  • Enhance political sagacity, skill, general information and training statecraft.

6. Adjustment of Loyalties
  • Provide higher sense of tolerance among associations and political parties.
  • Create and foster supportive political values in a society.

7. Improvement of Political Behavior
  • Aquaints with peaceful means of techniques for demands and wishes get translated into pubic policy.
  • Clear estimation of far-reaching disastrous consequences of violence.
  • Improvements of political behavior by clear perception of right and wrong.

Relation of Political Science with other Social Sciences

1. Political Science and History:
  • History provides necessary data for research, conclusions—past events.
  • Political Science furnishes conceptual and ideological foundation to history without it, history is mere chronology.
  • History provides data regarding birth, growth and death of political institutions.
  • Professor Seeley,Political Science without history has no root while history without Political Science bears no fruit”.
  • Democracy is the best form of government: substantiated by history.

Difference between Political Science and History

  • Research and study of Politic restricted to political events.
  • Political Science concern the present and future course of action while history deals pasts events only.
  • History—chronological order and Political Science: generalization of conclusions.
  • History does not evolve new idea or hypothesis.
  • Political is speculative while history is narrative.

2. Political Science and Economics:

  • Aristotle: Economic disparities is cause of revolutions.
  • Economic factors play crucial role in prosperity and survival of State.
  • Organized socio-political life guarantees satisfaction of economic wants.
  • Political thinkers of eighteenth century regarded Economics a branch of Political Science (Not accepted at present)
  • At presented Economics emerged as distinct and full-fledged science.
  • Economics deals with mode of production, source of wealth and the patren of its distribution.

Impact of Economics on Political Science

Economic conditions have deep imprints on political ideas
Particular type of class determines nature of political structure
Most of the problems are economic.
Political parties draw manifesto while projecting economic problems.
Major cause of political instability in third world countries is economic.

Impact of Political Science on Economics

Economic concepts and activities affect political conditions and political decision making.
Different type of governments enact distinct economic policies e.g. Socials government—nationalism. Liberal Democratic State—welfare economic system.

3. Political Science and Sociology:

  • Sociology is basic social science deal with all aspects of social existence.
  • Political aspect is only a part of Sociology.
  • Political Science is study of human political behavior and working of political institutions. Sociology help us to understand political problems.
  • Sociology provides information regarding evolution of the Sate and social legislation.
  • Political issues can be better solved, appraised and analyzed with reference to their sociological setting.
  • Political Science borrowed techniques of research from Sociology.
  • Difference between Political Science and Sociology
  • Political Science is study of Sate. Sociology is study of society and agencies of social control.
  • Sociology explains both conscious and unconscious activities of social life. Political Science concern, actions consciously performed.
  • Sociology is study of organized and unorganized groups while Political Science deals politically organized society.
  • Sociology has no concepts and guideline for future course of action where as Political Science analyzes and explains past events for shaping a good political life in future.

4. Political Science and Ethics:

  • Ethics: Refinement of conscience, aims at character building. It sets principles of right and wrong.
  • What is wrong in Ethics cannot be considered right in politics.

Impact of Ethics on Political Science

  • Moral values are deeply rooted and held in esteem in societies even autocratic governments try to justify their policies.
  • Prevailing cannons of morality are given full weight age in legislation.
  • Law is enforced most effectively when it has sanction of public morality at their back.
  • Law and policies of government can bring revolutionary changes in the ethical concepts.
  • Media and educational system are the best tools to effectively indoctrinate moral values through State’s machinery.
  • Revivalism of Islamic ethical order can be implemented by an Islamic Sate.

5. Political Science and Psychology:
  • Political attitudes of individual are better understood by psychology.
  • Patern of government: mental attitude of people e.g. people living in desserts are more freedom loving than city (Ibn-e-Khaldoon) they always foster democratic governmental structure.
  • Revolutionary changes in attitude and thinking of citizens: through effective political power and Sate resources.
  • Psychological techniques of propaganda are employed by political parties to mould pubic opinion in favour.
  • Psychological test (for civil and military services) to judge their aptitude and bent of mind.
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