Evolution of political science as a discipline
– Polis –> city state
– All activities of city state within the scope of political enquiry.
– Interdisciplinary in nature.
– religion dominated.
– Political studies were part of religious studies.
– Prominent scholar – St. Augustine
– Machiavelli – made political science autonomous.
– Freed from ethics and religion.
– State become the core area of analysis.
– Study of ideas of classical thinkers and study of constitutions.
– Behavioural movement
– In 1960s – post behaviouralism
Methods in political science
– Philosophy? Understanding idea
– Plato – father of political philosophy
– Influenced by Socrates’ theory of knowledge – two types of knowledge:
• True knowledge – transcendental, unchallengeable. Dialectics is the method.
• Second category – not knowledge but belief. Weak and challengeable.
– Plato developed theory of ideas.
• Idea is essence.
• World of ideas is superior to world of matter.
• Thus philosophical investigation is superior to empirical observations.
Method of philosophical approach – Logical reasoning.
Nature of philosophical theories: Normative i.e. what ought to be
– Disconnected with reality.
– Mere speculations
– Was on decline because of behaviouralism
– Post-behaviouralism brought back values.
– Machiavelli – one of the earliest exponent.
• History is the best guide to politics and politics is not a philosophy.
– Often said that history is past politics.
– History and politics are like root and fruit.
– Laski: Every thinker is a child of his times.
• No idea is ever intelligible save in the context of time.
• Most easy and common-sense based.
• It is good approach – has three factors – factual, causal, prescriptive
– Too vast
– All that has happened may not be relevant. Idea which never existed – important eg: philosopher
king, communism, etc
Biases. One should not be overlooking history but one should not be prisoner of history.
– Historicism by Hegel and Marx.