Introduction to Political Science

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5 Questions

What are the three sub-disciplines of modern political science?

Comparative politics, international relations, and political theory

When did contemporary political science start to take shape as a distinct field?

Latter half of the 19th century

What were the antecedents of the modern discipline of political science?

Moral philosophy, political economy, political theology, history

What distinguishes contemporary political science from history?

Analysis of political activities, institutions, thought, behavior, constitutions and laws

Before the late 19th century, what was it uncommon for political science to be considered?

"A distinct field from history"

Study Notes

Sub-Disciplines of Modern Political Science

  • Comparative Politics: focuses on the study of political systems, institutions, and processes across different countries and regions.
  • International Relations: examines the interactions and relationships between states, international organizations, and other actors in the global arena.
  • Political Theory: concerns the study of the fundamental questions and concepts of politics, such as power, justice, and democracy.

Development of Contemporary Political Science

  • Contemporary political science started to take shape as a distinct field in the late 19th century.

Antecedents of Modern Political Science

  • The ancient Greeks, particularly Aristotle and Plato, are considered among the antecedents of the modern discipline of political science due to their contributions to the study of politics and governance.
  • The modern discipline of political science also has roots in the Enlightenment thinkers, such as John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.

Distinction from History

  • Contemporary political science is distinguished from history by its focus on the systematic and scientific study of political phenomena, rather than solely on the historical narrative of political events.

Pre-19th Century Perspective

  • Before the late 19th century, it was uncommon for political science to be considered a separate and distinct academic discipline, as it was often subsumed under other fields like philosophy or law.

Test your knowledge of political science with this quiz covering the origins, sub-disciplines, and key concepts of the field. Explore the study of politics, governance systems, power, international relations, and political theory.

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