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topic 1

The Nature and Scope of


Political Science
introduction
Basic
Methodologies of What is science,
Political Science politics & political
science
The nature
& scope of
political
science
Is Political Scope of
Science a political
Science? science

approaches

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introduction
„ Theories of political
„ Study of human behavioral
„ Political scientists serve as researchers
and academicians – policy making of
government
„ Power – Authority – influence

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What is science, politics & political
science

science
politics
political science

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science
„ ‘to know’ (Latin word)
„ Any form of systematic knowledge on
specific field
„ Baseline – human knowledge

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politics
„ Greek words ‘Polis’ (community or
city) and ‘Poli’ (many)
„ “Who gets what, when & how”
(Lasswell, 1958)
„ “Political acts” as those that
“authoritatively allocate values in a
society” (Easton, 1953)
„ Art of living & working together (New
approach)
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political science
„ Study of the origins, development &
operation of political system
„ Study of government (the state), the
structure and activities of the states
„ Study of how to govern well
„ Power and allocation of power
Conclusion:
i) Politics involves conflicts
ii) Most political conflicts is group
conflict
iii) The study of politics involves
understanding how people govern
themselves & the consequences
of the political process.
definitions
„ Aristotle - “Master Science” –
Knowledge & understanding to those
who controlled the state.
„ Lasswell - “Who gets what, when &
how”
„ Austin Ranney - The study of the
process of making public decisions & of
the individuals & the institutions that
participate in this process.
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scope of political science
i) Political Theory
Plato, Aristotle, Marx, Montesquieu, Ibn
Khaldun, Al-Farabi etc.
ii) International relations
Foreign, national security policies,
diplomacy etc.
iii) Comparative political & Government
Broadest & most challenging
iv) Public Administration
Managing & administering government
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approaches
This approaches are used to explore & explain
certain political situation or political event. They
were used to explain the conditions of a society in a
state, the international politics & examined the
Behaviour of individual, group & political institution.
i) Traditional
ii) Philosophical
iii) Institutionalism
iv) Legalistic
v) Behaviouralism
vi) Developmentalism
vii) The Political System Back
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Traditional
„ Can be analysed in 2 aspects:
i) the actions / activities by the society
ii) process of data collection &
distributing information

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Philosophical
„ This approach emphasized on political
ideas, concepts, doctrine & theories.
„ Aristotle, Hobbes, Karl Marx and Plato.
„ Important to find the answer for any
issues or problems relating to social,
economy and political.

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Institutionalism
„ Focuses on government institution.
„ Corruption or misuse of power –
legislative body, executive body and
judicial body.

Montesquieu
(Theory of Separation of Power)
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Legalistic
„ Study of political science to the legal
system.
„ The legalistic approach views political
science as the primary study of
constitutions and legal codes.
„ Legalistic approach as simply as
historical study

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Behaviouralism
„ This approach emphasized on study of
these matters:
i) The actual behaviour of human in political
process
ii) The role & participation of people or individual in
political
iii) Utilized the scientific study in order that the
process of exploring will be systematically
planned and arranged.

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Developmentalism
„ This approach gives attention to issues
such as:
i) Changes in the form of government & military
ii) The expansion of political institution of the state
iii)National investment and development
iv) The development of the rule & regulations
v) The distribution of national resources such as
money, capital goods, industrial products &
manpower
vi) Conflicts in society and social problems

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The Political System
„ Introduced by David Easton (1979)

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environment
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Is Political Science a Science?
„ These advocates of the scientific
approach argue as follows:-
i) Human behavior is complex
ii) These behavior patterns or
regularities can be discovered &
verified through careful, systematic
observations
iii) On the basis of these observations &
by the use of statistics & mathematics
laws can be formulated on how
politics operates. Back
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Basic Methodologies of Political
Science
i) The Observational Method
ii) The Experimental Method
iii) The Historical Method
iv) The Comparative Method
v) The Method of Analogy
vi) The Statistical or the Quantitative
Method
vii) The Philosophical Method
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The Observational Method
„ Based on direct observation and
reflection – It helps in arriving at certain
political principles.

The Experimental Method


„ Experimental in Political Science can
never be repeated. For the political
researcher every change in the
governmental structure, law or policy
has significance, as it is the result of
experiment. Back
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The Historical Method
„ Gilchrist remarks, “The source of
experiments of political science is
history, they rest on observation and
experience. Laski, must be an effort to
codify the results of experience in the
history of states.

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The Comparative Method
„ Those that have existed in the past, to
assemble a definite body of material
from which the investigator, by
selection, comparison and elimination
may discover the ideal types and
progressive forces of political history.

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The Method of Analogy
„ This is an inductive method made use
by Herbert Spencer. State and an
organism possess the sustaining,
distributaries and the regulating
systems and both exhibit the same
process of development.

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The Statistical or the Quantitative Method
„ It attempts to describe and measure in
quantitative terms and is especially
applied to the study of political parties
and public opinion. It has also been
extended to the study of comparative
government and international relations.

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The Philosophical Method
„ The deductive method implies
reasoning for developing particular
conclusions from a number of general
principles or propositions that are
assumed to be true. This method of
investigation starts from some abstract
original idea about human nature and
draws deduction from that idea as to
the nature of the State. It then attempts
to harmonize its theories with the
actual facts of history.
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