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What is Politology and what does it study?

What is Politology and what does it study?

May 18, 2023

Politology is that branch of the social sciences that is responsible for analyzing and studying the power relations of a society , understanding power as the contract between governors and citizens that must be respected within an institutional framework. Power is that capacity that a determined actor has to influence a second or even third actor. It is for this reason that an act of necessary interrelation is presented.

We often ignore this concept of power. Political science is not limited to basing its investigations of a political nature , but also responds to a network of interactions between human beings, a more anthropological than administrative part. Power can be found in families, in a group of friends, at work or even among alien characters.

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The origins of political science

It should be noted that this concept is far from novel. Already in ancient Greece, the forerunners of political science such as Plato or Aristotle posed an in-depth analysis of the configuration of the State as a unique element of power to others. Its foundation, laws, constitutions, organization, uses and customs not regulated ... all these elements influence human behavior in a generalized way. While civilizations and / or societies have been growing in number and complexity, they have been forced to take shape in the form of a nation-state, and from this structure affects the mind and behavior.

Once again, this is where political science is responsible for disengaging the bowels of the art of governing. Power, the philosopher's stone around which politics in general revolves, remains today a difficult idea to develop. Is power exercised, or conquered? What are your methods to implement? These and many other questions can only be answered by this science which, it must be stressed, is not exact.

Although Western thinkers were precursors in laying the foundations of this concept, the concepts of political science or political theory are not coined until well into the twentieth century, shortly after the end of World War II. So, it was in 1948 exactly when the German political scientist Eugen Fischer (1881 - 1964) as a universal way of addressing the academic world that was dedicated to political knowledge. It is evident that there is a relationship between political science and political philosophy, since they examine the exercise of politics it goes through constantly rethinking the concepts what's on the game board. However, it also has to do with psychology, since ultimately everything that is studied is reflected through human behavior.

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The role of the political scientist

Like any other type of science, political science requires a body or agent to articulate studies and research entrusted to it: That is the figure of the political scientist , which plays a role both in research and intervention. It should be noted that a political scientist is not a politician, no speechwriter or any position that resembles him.

According to the role entrusted to the political scientist, he must stick to the objective and impartial investigation concerning his field, without interference that responds to the particular interests of pressure groups , political parties or other possible groups that exercise power. The political reality should be the object of study of the political scientist, as well as to resolve the tendencies that can be given of that reality.

Among the many functions of the political scientist, he will be in charge of seeking answers to situations such as peace and war, who provokes it, the nature of them; how the role of the dominated and dominated is managed; parameters to establish the justiice of injustice; how to manage conflicts and negotiate the interests of those involved; guidelines to reach consensus, among other problems.

Taking into consideration all the issues addressed by the complexity of power and its action within the community, we must introduce a new concept that functions as a hinge in politics: ethics and morality. They are two inseparable conjunctions in the exercise of governance, the ultimate formula being that which forms in body and legality the "social justice".

The public vs. private sector

We can not ignore the relative novelty of the figure of the political scientist within the professional field, especially if we take into account that political life is sealed exclusively for parties that respond to ideological interests . Likewise, political science -and the political scientist in the last resort- can perform important tasks within the public administration that would help improve the quality of democracy, if any, or can improve government performance in case of absence.

Suggesting some of the most important examples, the role of the political scientist goes through the design of public policies given guidelines, as well as the organization of civil society, the relationship between the judicial, executive and legislative branches, through the management and investigation of the public opinion. All this taking into account, if possible, a proactive attitude (avoid conflict) versus a reactive attitude (conflict resolution).

Finally, In the private sphere, political science has little room for action . Being entities of a different nature, the private sector may require the services of a policy professional in non-profit organizations such as NGOs, companies dedicated to helping the public sector, as is usually the outsourcing of services or platforms. media dedicated to generating public opinion.

Introduction to Political Science (May 2023).

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