No less close and no less ancient is the connection between Political Science and Jurisprudence, the science of law. The former is the study of the State and government whereas the latter is the study of law.
If human beings are to live a life of togetherness and safeguard the existence of the community itself, they must accept certain rules of conduct.
The rules governing society may be few or many. They can range from a few primitive traditions, handed down orally from one generation to another, to the whole complex set of constitutional and governmental regulations which are associated with the modern State. The regulations of the State are called laws and these are formulated, administered and enforced by the government.
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Every State, no matter what its form of government, develops its own constitutional law. Similarly, every political philosophy embraces or implies jurisprudence. From a social point of view, laws must be influenced by their environments. As is the structure of society, so is the content of laws.
In a community of large land-owners the laws will not be the same as in a country of peasant farmers. Similarly, the laws governing private property and the conditions of labour will be different under a capitalistic pattern of society and a socialistic one. The constitutional law of a democratic government basically differs from that in a dictatorship.
Strictly speaking, Jurisprudence is a sub-division of Political Science, as it is the State that creates and maintains the conditions of law. But it is now treated as a separate study because of the vastness of its scope and its specialised study of law. Moreover, la’ is concerned with classes of persons and classes of situations in general, and often hypothetical terms.
Similarly, law may establish fictions that are convenient as working formulae, though they may have no bearing on actual life. A lawyer’s approach is normative whereas the approach of a student of Political Science is both normative and descriptive. This is how the political scientist relates the subject-matter of his study to the realities of life and thereby corrects the distortions of legalism.