Political science is one such discipline that comes under the umbrella of social sciences and studies the government, politics, and State. Political science extensively concentrates on the know-how of analyzing the political systems, examining the political behavior, and describing the practical and theoretical applications to politics. A vast majority of political scientists enjoy viewing themselves, totally engaged in finding out the missing connections between political conditions and events, and by accumulating this knowledge, they hope of building a system of general constructs that posit the very nature of how politics works.
One should clearly understand and remember the fact that the science of politics is not an isolated field and it cross-references numerous other allied branches like sociology, history, economics, public policy, anthropology, etc. Political scientists are pretty much in great demand these days, as the global political landscape is ever evolving, and the society is in great need of someone to explain all the nitty-gritty of the present political economy. A cursory glance at the dailies and the TV channels ascertains the fact that political scientists are leading the ongoing debates with their acumen and sagacity.
The very scope of the discipline of political science happens to be pretty vast, and it takes into account the following sub-categories.
- Political theory
- Public administration
- Comparative politics
- International relations
- Public law
It will be pretty much worthwhile to note that these five branches cover the entire discourse of the contemporary political economy as well as offer the necessary basis to understand and study the functioning of the global political economy. The study of allocation, distribution, and transfer of power happens to be one of the key preoccupations of all the political scientists. The success and failure of the governance framework are analyzed by the political scientists who scrutinize the multilayered and multifaceted factors in action that can be attributed to good governance or otherwise. The scope concerning the political science has been widened and now includes the discussion related to the democratic elections study across the world.
The significance of political science cannot be described in just one sentence. Its knowledge is useful and essential to both the ruled and the ruler. The importance of the political science study is illustrated below briefly.
Imparting knowledge about the State
The primary objective of the political science study is inculcating knowledge about the State including its origin, structure, functions, and nature. Knowledge of the State is indeed of vital importance to modern people.
Imparting knowledge about the government and the administration
The political leaders, diplomats, and administrators; who are in charge of the State affairs also need sound knowledge in political science to perform their duties efficiently. An administrator who possesses no knowledge in political science is fated for an epic fail. The norms and principles conceptualized and established by the scholars of political science are considered indispensable to the legislators, judges, and executives. Political science is regarded as a science of leadership and statesmanship.
Imparting knowledge of the world
In addition to the utilitarian considerations already mentioned before, the acquisition of wisdom of political science broadens a person’s intellectual horizon and enriches one’s mind. A fundamental understanding of political science does help everybody to comprehend the current affairs at local, national, and global level. In the present era of globalization, no individual can afford to lead an insular life. Every country is required to maintain diplomatic relations with other nations in the world.
Creating democratic values
The political science study gained special significance in present times in all sovereign democratic nations. No democracy can be successful if its people are not politically conscious. The political science study makes people vigilant and also aware of their duties and rights. If the sons and daughters of a country are not alert, observant, patriotic, and intelligent; democracy will not be able to function freely and successfully in that nation. That is why it is rightly said; the price of liberty, and even of common humanity, is eternal vigilance. (Brave New World, Aldous L. Huxley).
Creating good citizenship
The political science study is valuable to foster the culture of good citizenship and secure the unity of a country. Laski quoted that the idea of good citizenship implies the contribution of one’s instructed judgment to public good [sic].
Imparting the lessons of toleration and co-operation
Political science also imparts valuable lessons of adjustment, co-operation, and toleration. No society can progress without reciprocity and co-operation. People should be cognizant of how to be helpful and adaptable. No country can develop without the active co-operation of its citizens. Toleration is also a dire need of the human society.
Making the wisdom of political science indispensable
The political science study has special significance in all the countries. Its study helps people to understand the constitutional systems and mechanism of a modern government. The political science study covers the foreign and domestic policies of a country, the principles of a government, the executive, legislature, and judiciary of various nations, etc. The core principles of fraternity, equality, and liberty are also explained in the political science study. It is no surprise that Aristotle held political science as the supreme of all the scientific disciplines because of its significance and usefulness. The day is not far when this aphorism will be realized.
Can political science be considered as useful? Of course! Perhaps, its most significant advantage is, it exists in the realm of where the hard sciences end and the humanities begin; and thus, helps everyone understand who they are and why they act the way they do. And the onus of sustaining the democracies and preventing them from being dysfunctional lies on the political scientists to a great extent. As Rothstein quoted, in the end, they need to focus on the problems that plague every system of governance. (Rothstein, 2005)