The scope of Political Science implies its jurisdiction or subject matter. Political Science is a very wide and comprehensive subject. There is no agreement among the Political Scientists as regard to the scope of Political Science. Despite this disagreement, we may make an attempt to define the scope of Political Science which includes the followings:
1. A study of the State and Government:
Political Science primarily studies the problems of the State and government. The state is defined as a group of people organised for law within definite territory. The State possesses four characteristics, viz. Population, territory, government and sovereignty. Government is an agent of the Stale. Political Science studies the activities of the State and explains the aims and objectives of the State and government.
Image Source: d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net
2. A Study of Political Theory:
Political theory is a major branch of Political Science. On the basis of the political ideas or thoughts of political thinkers, political theory formulates definitions or concepts like democracy, liberty, equality, grounds of political obligation, etc. A student of Political Science must start his lessons with political theory. Political theory explains the rudimentary concepts of Political Science. It also includes the study of political philosophy.
3. A Study of Political Institutions:
The field of Political Science is rather vast. It includes the study of political institutions. This covers a study of constitutions and comparative government, explains their merits and demerits, their structure and working and arrives at different conclusions on comparative basis. Besides, the study of public administration and local government may be included in this area. These institutions are useful to the nation and hence they are studied along with the State.
4. A study of Political Dynamics:
The study of political dynamics has become significant in the 20th century. It means the current forces at work in government and politics. It covers a wide range and includes the study of political parties, public opinion, pressure groups, lobbies, etc. A scientific study of the working of these political dynamics helps to explain the political behaviour of individuals and different groups. The study in this field is often done in collaboration with other social sciences like sociology,, anthropology and psycholosiy.
5. A Study of Adjustment of the Individual with the State:
The scope of political science also includes a study of the nature of relationship between the individual and the State. It examines how man should adjust himself with the society. Man is the root of politics. The process of adjustment of men with the society is an important aspect of Political Science.
6. A study of International Relations and international law
Lastly, the scope of Political Science includes a study of international relations which has become significant since the first quarter of the 20th century. It covers a wide range and includes diplomacy, international politics, international law, international organisations like the Untied Nations, etc. The States are the subjects of international law. International law has assumed greater importance in recent times.
The above contents show the wide range of subjects that come under the fold of Political Science. Broadly speaking, political science contains the topics dealing with both empirical facts and philosophical values. Questions of facts are concerned with “what is” and those dealing with values are concerned with “what should be”. The contents of political science fall in either of these two broad categories.