Introduction to Political Science
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Introduction to Political Science

October 20, 2019

Political science is the systematic
study of government and politics. It is a social science just like sociology or psychology or
anthropology in that we are fascinated by human behavior, but in the case of political science we look
at political behavior in particular. Political science has often
been defined as who gets what, when, where, and how. Political science is
about power relationships. Why should one study political science?
Political science is fascinating! It’s about people.
Politics impacts our lives directly and indirectly whether we’re aware
of it or not. If there’s a crime that takes
place one calls the police. That’s government. If there’s a fire that takes
place one calls the fire department. That’s also government. The military is government as well. Our
civil liberties, our rights, that impacts us on a daily
basis, so if one happens to get pulled over by a police officer, for example, what are their
legal rights in that kind of situation? The question of textbook costs and so on and so forth, these are actually fundamentally
political decisions that are made by politicians, by elected officials. Political science is a very broad
discipline, but some of the subdisciplines include national, state, and
local government, so if one is taking political science courses in the United
States then they might take courses in American government, on the American presidency, the court
system. There’s international relations. That is
a discipline where we look at how all of the various actors
within the global system or the international system interact with one another. In an
international relations course one might learn about topics such as human
rights, such as globalization, such as
international relations theories that help us understand the world around us or at
least attempt to explain various international phenomena. Power,
military power, hard power, soft power. Another area that
one might study within international relations would
be foreign policy decision-making. And, in fact, one can take courses at most
American colleges and universities and colleges and universities, indeed, throughout the world in studying the foreign policy of particular countries. Another subdiscipline within political science is political theory and/or political philosophy. And, in those
courses one would study some of the great
thinkers throughout human history who have grappled with tough political,
philosophical questions about the nature of power, about the
nature of human beings, and also really get into discussing
various ideas and many of the “isms”: socialism, communism, Islamism, feminism and so on. Another subdiscipline of political
science is comparative government and politics. In comparative politics courses, we
discuss and analyze the various political systems around the world. And, there are two major
approaches to the study of comparative politics. The
first is the thematic approach where one would study the various broad
themes that would help us understand the
various political systems around the world, such as revolutions or nationalism, things of
that nature. Another approach is a country-by-country
approach where one studies the various countries around the
world and their political systems, and domestic politics, and domestic political issues within a
particular country. So, within comparative politics one can focus on
the various regions of the world. So, for example, Middle East
North African politics, or Latin American politics, or Asian and/or African politics, or European
politics. Another subdiscipline in the area of
political science would be research methodology or quantitative analyses courses, and
that’s actually sort of the science part of political science where one would utilize numbers to
understand, explain, and predict political behavior. There are many things that one can do
with a political science major in terms of career options. One could
work for government at the federal, state, or local levels. One
could work for the United Nations or other
international governmental organizations. One could work in the nonprofit sector
for non-governmental or nonprofit organizations, or one might actually become a Senator
or president or an elected official. In addition, one could teach with a political science background. One could be a diplomat and work as a
foreign service officer or work for the State Department. One can also work in business and/or
even in journalism, in the news media. A political science
background really prepares one for a wide range of possible career
options. I would say that one would want to study
political science because it’s fascinating. It’s about people, it’s about the story
of people. Political science will help you better
analyze current events. Anyone whose literate can read
newspapers or articles online, but political science will give you that
ability to analyze the current events that are going on. It’ll help you better formulate arguments, and strengthen your arguments,
and develop your critical thinking skills. It’s perhaps human nature to sort of look for easy answers and easy
solutions and kind of get into black-and-white thinking, but what political science will do for
someone is actually get you to understand that there are shades of grey, and that there’s nuance,
and that the world around us is not just black and white. And, again, political science is a social science, so it’s about people, and any social
scientist finds the study of people fascinating. If you’d like to learn more about your
legal rights, if you would like to learn more about the constitution, United States Constitution that impacts you
every day, then political science might be for you.

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  1. Video addendum: Public policy/ administration and public law are two additional subdisciplines within the broader discipline of political science. Other career options available to political science majors include, but are not limited to, becoming a lobbyist, campaign manager or consultant, or an attorney. The study of political science provides excellent training for law school. Please see the links in the video description above to learn more about Political Science.

  2. Thank you so much for this video. I am only 13 but i love humanities class and learning about people's behavior so i think i will be this when i grow up. Thanks for the clarification!!!!!!!

  3. About to enter university this year as a communications major but this video really changed my mind. I recently got really into politics due to recent events and I always wanted to be a humanitarian focusing on the plights of minorities so Poli Sci might be the way to go for me. But just to appease my parents I'll probably take some business minor

  4. Very helpful thank you! I'm taking a poli sci course in college soon so I thought I would try to get an understanding before I go

  5. Is there any way I could teach myself political science for free using online resources? I'm 27, I have a basic formal education, I've been working menial retail jobs since I was 18, but now that I've discovered political science is my 'thing', I'm eager to start my career.

    I've written a short paper outlining my take on Brexit – a paper that, as far as I can tell, fits the description of political science. Interestingly I wrote the paper before even realising that political science exists. I'm hoping that if I can write a few more papers using the online resources I'm hoping are available, and perhaps do some internship work, I can get my foot in the door in this line of work, or is this unrealistic?

  6. I'm in 8 grade and I think this sounds interesting. Tho I don't wanna learn about Aristotle, because the answer to all of our questions is God. AND IF I study this I wanna share the gospel to the world!

  7. Learn abt the debates and dangers to Grad Students here:
    Paradigm Politics in Political Science
    #PoliticalScience #PoliSci #Politics #SocialScience #Methods #Research #ResearchMethods

  8. To call something science and it's clearing not a science is an oxymoron.Political science is not science.

  9. I am in a debating period deciding between the courses Politics and the State and International Relations. I live in EU and was seeking for a professional opinion on what's the major difference between these 2 courses. My preferences for now strive for Politics and the State as BA and International Relations as Major. What do you think?

  10. Thank you very much, Prof. for your explanation. It really fascinated me. Could someone please suggest me best (really best) university for Master studies in Political Science & International Relations in EU?

  11. That was a very helpful introductory to political science . I loved how simple and clear the ideas were represented . And it really gave me a better view of how the study of political science may be like in college …
    Thank you very much for the effort you have put in the process of making this video …
    Wish you all the success and I hope you achieve your goals and live an inspiring and blessed life …
    " Die empty "

  12. Thank you, this is very inspirational and has indeed grown my further interest in the study of politics

  13. Proffessor your video is extremely interesting and i am a bachelor holder in public administration but because of your vidoe i will do another degree in political science .

  14. What's the best channel here in YouTube to understand political science for a major in political science in the university sir

  15. I am a political science student first year and more interested with the course please i want more political questions and explanations. university of Ghana

  16. I've been struggling choosing what I want to do in college and as an adult for a while and videos like these help until I find more on other topics ughh

  17. I would love to get a degree in Political science. Current events now a days has me feeling like I want to do my part and help change things. I’m 31 tho and I feel like it’s too late to get a degree…

  18. First of all , thank you so much for this amazing video . I used to have a lot of questions in my head and I was way too confused about studying political science. Im so bad at maths and I wanna know if I have to deal with it if I choose to study international relations.

  19. wow great introduction, it gives me hope that someday I can learn and study political science, just like I love history subject 😃

  20. I have a minor in political philosophy and I wish it would have been explained to me like this when I started school in the late 1980s. My 101 prof wasn't nearly this good.

  21. Political science is a social science which deals with systems of governance, and the analysis of political activities, political thoughts, and political behavior. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics which is commonly thought of as determining of the distribution of power and resources.

  22. You’ve convinced me to get into politics, I will be studying more about political science from now on and hopefully I’ll have a career with a degree in political science

  23. A basically introduction in politcal science political science about the nature off off leader community impact political life is very helpful guide the worker

  24. Can I get a bachelor degree at political science and international relations and then get a master degree at law? If yes, is it a good combination?

  25. I think I've found my career, i'll join University after 1 month, I was researching my career trype for so long, finally I've decided 100% to go with Political science

  26. Although political theory is obviously related to this, I've been reading Wikipedia entries about what some of the major political "isms" are.

    It helps me make more pointed political statements instead of just blindly reiterating somebody else's comments or possibly making stupid statements.

  27. Our society needs to understand the fundamentals of political science, history and economics to help inform our voting decisions. Youtube is teaching us what we should've learned in school.

  28. I have just finished my 10th grade exams from India and was extremely confused about the concept of Humanities and political science…this really did help me!!

    Thank you sir!
    Love from India!

  29. the analysis of the effectiveness and results of laws and policies? would this be the area to access cases concerning specific types of cases over the past 20 years, look at the ways lawyers and judges have handled them, how politicians have voted on them, how other professions involved interplay, do follow up with the lives of the people affected, and find patterns of incorrect decision making, flawed reasoning, poor misunderstanding of phenomena, and/or corruption? and to affect the changes of laws based on this broad and deep, complex systems approach? that includes psychology/anthropology, law, economics … i mean in a very practical hands on approach manner of research that i can get funding to undertake.

  30. i have just started my studies on Social Work & Political science is one of the subjects,what a good place to begin i love the video

  31. Professor Sukkary,
    Thank you for such an informative post! You defined Political Science in a way that is interesting and very understandable. I am 60 years old, returning to school to finally obtain my BSN. One of the required courses is Political Science. I have to admit that I was not looking forward to this course initially, but between my reading assignments and your post, I am becoming "fascinated" with the study of Political Science! Thank you!

  32. Quick question: I really want to study in the US as a foreign student and major in political science – but is it gonna be hard for me to find a job or get high salaries if I’m not born american?

  33. I feel bad for political scientists due to bad branding. If they had just called the field 'political studies' they'd get a lot less flack from the engineering and science students.

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