POLITICAL SCIENCE AS A DISCIPLINE
When you study political science, you’ll learn about how political power is distributed, how government at different levels are structured and operate. One inspects how laws are formed and enforced. The subject is commonly thought of as a determinant of the distribution of power and resources. You’ll learn about the “who and how” of politics. You will also examine the different parameters of political behaviors and how they affect our lives from the availability of education, jobs to healthcare resources and proper housing facilities.
Political science is slowly becoming a critical discipline due to globalization and the asymmetric warfare that has led to the rise of unconventional terrorist attacks globally. The governing strategies of a country, what do the governments do, and who supports them evidently influence the war or peace state of a country.
One must note the distinction, political science is the study of politics itself and is not politics. The subject lays a foundation to solve humanity’s ills, focuses on justice, inequality, freedom, and liberation, etc.
What is the theory of political science?
As the name suggests, political science is the study of governments and political behaviors. It is the study of how a structured society governs itself at different levels and how shall a country or nation achieve democracy righteously. Academically, it is a branch of social science that studies the various systems of governance and analyses policymaking.
Furthermore, the subject debates and understands the various ideologies, policies, laws, and strategies which benefit and protect all citizens. The approach to study political behavior is derived from domestic, international and comparative perspectives. This would include how authority is decided and divided between various institutions, cooperation between people and State and between two States.
Political science constitutes a number of other fields such as economics, history, social work, international relations, public administration, peace and conflict studies, political philosophy, etc.
We all participate in politics, even unknowingly. This participation and engagement occur because of the nature of the institutions governing us. Hence, the concepts of “power”, “democracy”, “secularization”, “electoral systems” and “political economy” etc. help us to understand different political outcomes. We are bound to these social behaviors and issues. We can either be supportive or rebellious to them. There are other diversified methodologies such as behaviorism, rationalism, social research, statistical studies, case studies, etc. that are studied under the discipline.
Political science as a Career
A degree in political science can open up a wide range of job opportunities in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. It helps you to build a career in High-Level Government Officers, Businesses, NGOs, Journalism, international organizations, etc., and also research and publishing.
A student or scholar gets exposure to study various functions of government and foreign affairs while a political analyst can be a political editor or political advisor to our intellectual politicians or political parties. Civil services that are competitive exam also deal with policy-making, bureaucracy, and Diplomacy.
Degrees: BA Political science is available at the graduation level whereas MA Political science or International Relations is available for higher studies in political science.
What can you expect to learn from a degree in political science?
- Analyse fundamental problems in human society, such as world peace, international trade, globalization, etc.
- Contribute to the wellbeing of a nation such as education availability, healthcare facilities, employment opportunities.
- Policies on economic stability and growth
- Understand the structure and purpose of governmental and non-governmental institutions and the role they play in political systems.
- Interrogate the assertions about justice, fairness, security, conflict, development, etc. issues.
- Develop and be able to demonstrate analytical and critical thinking.
- One will be able to understand the contrast between democracy and other competing political systems.
How can you prepare yourself thoroughly to study political science?
Before you become a graduate in political science, here are a few ways you can actually prepare yourself to master the discipline:
- Take part in governmental activities and politics – Become aware of the social issues causing trouble to people around. You can participate in debates, get involved in NGOs and try to make a difference on a small scale. This will help you to shape your decisions and influence others in the right way.
- Act as a ‘lobbyist’ – Try and meet members of the parliament and attend their discussions about legislation. Talk to people involved with different political parties and build your insights, accordingly. Listen to the agendas that are pitched.
- Research about the market and business – Collect information on customer opinions about services or products, assess research projects, etc. Understanding the market domestically will help you to understand the global market trends. Read about national and international policies.
- Study law – Political science and law studies go hand in hand. Getting introduced to laws and policies from diversified cultures over different countries will help you to decipher law systems and defend the right one.
- Current affairs – The more you educate yourself about current affairs, your knowledge will enhance and you will be able to compete on a larger platform. Enlighten yourself of the ills of humanity and work towards the betterment of society.
by Simranjeet Kaur