Open main menu

Political science

Political science is a social science which deals with systems of governance, and the analysis of political activities, political thoughts, and political behavior. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics which is commonly thought of as determining of the distribution of power and resources. Political scientists "see themselves engaged in revealing the relationships underlying political events and conditions, and from these revelations they attempt to construct general principles about the way the world of politics works."

Political science—occasionally called politicology—comprises numerous subfields, including comparative politics, political economy, international relations, political theory, public administration, public policy, and political methodology. Furthermore, political science is related to, and draws upon, the fields of economics, law, sociology, history, philosophy, geography, psychology/psychiatry, and anthropology.

Comparative politics is the science of comparison and teaching of different types of constitutions, political actors, legislature and associated fields, all of them from an intrastate perspective. International relations deals with the interaction between nation-states as well as intergovernmental and transnational organizations. Political theory is more concerned with contributions of various classical and contemporary thinkers and philosophers.

Political science is methodologically diverse and appropriates many methods originating in social research. Approaches include positivism, interpretivism, rational choice theory, behaviouralism, structuralism, post-structuralism, realism, institutionalism, and pluralism. Political science, as one of the social sciences, uses methods and techniques that relate to the kinds of inquiries sought: primary sources such as historical documents and official records, secondary sources such as scholarly journal articles, survey research, statistical analysis, case studies, experimental research, and model building.

Selected article

Niccolo Machiavelli's portrait

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (May 3, 1469 – June 21, 1527) was an Italian diplomat, political philosopher, musician, poet, and playwright. He is a figure of the Italian Renaissance and a central figure of its political component, most widely known for his treatises on realist political theory (The Prince) on the one hand and republicanism (Discourses on Livy) on the other. These two written works, plus his History of Florence commissioned by the Medici family, were published posthumously in 1531. After the ousting and execution of Savonarola, the Great Council elected Machiavelli as the second chancellor of the Republic of Florence in June of 1498.

Selected image

International Court of Justice.jpg

The Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands.


Selected political topic

Separation of powers, a term coined by French political Enlightenment thinker Baron de Montesquieu, is a model for the governance of democratic states. The model is also known as Trias Politica.

The model was first developed by the ancient Greeks in the constitutions that governed their city-states; however, it first came into widespread use by the Roman Republic. It was outlined in the Constitution of the Roman Republic.

Under this model, the state is divided into branches or estates, and each estate of the state has separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility. The normal division of estates is into the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial.

Did you know...

Did you know....?

Gerrymandering is a practice intended to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating boundaries.Examples of gerrymandering can be found in the electoral systems of Australia, Canada, Chile, etc.


Exceptional Content


The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources