The Political science reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Political science

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Political science is the study of politics. It involves the study of structure and process in government - or any equivalent system that attempts to assure safety, fairness, and closure across a broad range of risks and access to a broad range of commons for its human charges. Accordingly, political scientists may study social institutions such as corporations, unions, churches, or other organizations whose structure and process approach that of government in complexity and interconnection.

The term "political science" was first coined in 1880 by Herbert Baxter Adams, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University.

Table of contents
1 What political scientists do
2 Fields of political science
3 See also
4 Topics

What political scientists do

Political scientists study the allocation and transfer of power in decision making. Because of the complex interaction of often conflicting interests, political science is often an applied instance of game theory.

Political science seeks both to advance positive theses, by analyzing the politics, and to advance normative theses, by making specific policy recommendations. Political scientists measure the success of governance and specific policies by examining many factors, including stability, justice, material wealth, and peace. While historians look backward, seeking to explain the past, political scientists try to illuminate the politics of the present and predict those of the future.

The study of political science is complicated by the frequent involvement of political scientists in the political process, since their teachings often provide the frameworks within which other commentators, such as journalists, special interest groups, politicians, and the electorate analyze issues and select options. Political scientists may serve as advisors to specific politicians, or even run for office as politicians themselves.

Fields of political science

Comparative government is the comparison of different forms of government in different settings. International relations focuses on the study of the dynamics of relations between states. The complex interplay of economic and political choices is reflected in the field of political economy, where economics and political science overlap.

In the United States, political scientists look at a variety of data including elections, public opinion (on matters ranging from Social Security reform to foreign policy), institutional roles (how the U.S. Congress acts, where congressional power gravitates, how and when the Supreme Court acts, or does not act, etc.).

See also

Topics