Study Methods of Political Science

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Question; Discuss the methods of study of Political Science.

OR Discuss the traditional methods in the study of Political Science.

Or" Mention the traditional view of political science.

OR "What are the different methods of study of Political Science?

OR "Describe the main methods of study of Political Science.

OR "Describe the behavioural study method of Political Science.


For systematic knowledge of any subject, there must be a proper method of its study. There are no disputes regarding methods of study in natural sciences because every principle in them can be tested in the laboratory. But the sequence of events in Political Science is not fixed like the events of Natural Science. Testing of its rules and conclusions is not possible in any laboratory. Therefore, naturally, the question arises: What method should political science be studied?

Study Methods of Political Science

Methods of study of Political Science are classified into two categories.

Traditional Method

All the methods used before the Behaviourist Revolution come under the traditional method.

Modern Methods 

The methods used with and after the Behaviourist Revolution come under modern methods.

(A) Traditional Methods of Study of Political Science

Broadly, the traditional methods of political science can be classified into three categories--

1. Inductive method

2. Deductive method

3. Analogical method

1. Inductive method

Under this, facts are collected. The collected facts are compared, and then a conclusion is reached. In this way, a general principle is derived from specific facts. The following four methods are used under the inductive method--

(a) Experimental Method

(b) Observational Method

(c) Comparative Method

(D) Historical Method.

(a) experimental method

(a) Experimental methods 

can study political science. Political science is a science in which experiments are done knowingly or unknowingly, and scholars study these experiments and draw conclusions. It would be appropriate to say that the implementation of every new constitution and making new laws are experiments in the field of politics. Gandhi's Satyagraha, communist rule in the united state, democracy in India and rural democracy are all experiments in politics. The scholars study them and conclude.

(b) observational method

According to Lavelle, "Political science is observational science, not experimental". Under this, conclusions are drawn by an observational study of related events or problems. Observing elections and assemblies and drawing conclusions is done through this method.

(c) Comparative Method

First, the facts are collected, and the collected facts are systematically analyzed. They are classified, related similarity, similarity, and dissimilarity are observed in them, then unnecessary facts are truncated, and finally, the conclusion is drawn.

(d) historical method

A student of political science studies history and concludes. The systematic study of institutions in history, how they started and how they took shape over time. In this way, conclusions are drawn for the future. Its supporters are Seeley, Burke, Freeman etc.

2. Deductive method

This method is also known as the philosophical method. In the deductive method, some principles or conclusions are assumed to be self-evident. In this, the researcher accepts and presents his ideas, assumptions and beliefs as self-proven theory, and he uses these principles to explain the events. Its followers are the thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Russo, Mill etc. What was the main emphasis? Or what should be in place of what is, but what happens? It considers that there are many faults in the present state system, so the state should be good. It explains the future nature of the state. In this, axiom principles are accepted by implementing these principles in specific situations. The conclusion is drawn. We move from the general principle to the specific element in this method.

3. Analogical method

In the analogous method, the state is compared to any other entity. The spacer has compared the state to a living person or an organism. Some thinkers have considered the state as a legal personality. The following four methods come under this study method--

(a) juristic method

(b) Biological Method

(c) Sociological method

(d) Psychological method

The main accepted methods of political science at present are as follows---

1. The Observation method

2. The experimental method

3. The comparative method

4. The historical method

5. The method of analogy

6. The Philosophical Method

7. The statistical method.

(B) Modern or Behavioural Studies Methods of Political Science

After the Second World War, the period is called the scientific era of political science. The main thinkers of this era are Charles Merriam, David Easton, Laswell, Caitlin etc. The modern methods of study of political science developed in this era have given a new extension to the nature of the study of political science. Now the theoretical questions of politics are also considered from the point of view of scientific thinking and practice. The use of statistics, computers, charts, etc. have brought the techniques of presentation of subjects and opportunities to draw conclusions keeping in mind practical situations and conceptual thinking. In the modern era, there has been a lot of change in the study systems of Political Science. Due to this, there has been a revolution in its study. Such study methods are as follows--

1. Behaviourism

The behaviourist study method is an important contribution of the 20th century to political science. It has been called a great revolution in the process of political thought. It is the result of dissatisfaction with the achievements of traditional political science. When the results of traditional historical, philosophical, descriptive and institutional methods were disappointing, political scientists, especially in America, developed a method of study through which empirical theories could be rendered under political science by observing and examining political events. David Easton called it the Behaviourist Revolution.

Behaviourists believe that knowing the historical events, political institutions, and constitution does not complete the study of politics. This is complete only when a thorough study of the behaviour of the people living in the state and the group of people is done. According to him, politics can also become science-based on concrete facts like science, and predictions can be made in politics like natural sciences.

2. Scientific Method

This is a modern method of study. The entire study being done at present is done scientifically. This includes--

(a) Survey method

This method studies the inhabitants of an area, collecting facts about the subject and drawing conclusions.

(b) case system

This method is used to study a subject in depth.

(c) Questionnaire

In this, information is obtained and studied by making a long list of questions and asking questions to the people concerned.

(d) interview

By interviewing the concerned people on a particular topic, information about the point of view is obtained.

(e) referendum voting

By voting from the people living in a particular area, their beliefs, votes etc., are ascertained.

(f) Statistical

Under this, research is done on a problem through data.

3. Methodology of Sociological Studies

In this method, Political Science is studied from a sociological point of view. According to this, politics is studied as an organized society. In this, the social condition, social background and social values ​​of the participants in the political system are studied.

4. Structural Functionalist Approach

Its main researchers are Amond, Merton, etc. Politics is studied keeping in mind the structure and function of the state system.

5. Decision Making Approach

In this, emphasis is laid on the study of the policy decision process; it is used in the study of public administration and international politics.

6. Methodology

David Easton used it. He believes that the political system is a set of institutions and processes.

Which method of political science is best?

The question that arises is which of these different methods of study in Political Science is correct and the best? It can be said that Political Science is a complex subject. There can be no one method of its study. It becomes necessary to understand the same fact with the help of many methods. In the modern era, in the West and India, there has been a lot of promotion that the scientific method is the best. Still, now even the exponents of the scientific method have started accepting its limitations and believing that there is a philosophical or It is necessary to resort to the logical method.

Therefore Dr In the words of M. P. Sharma, "No one method works in the study of politics. One method works in some part of it and the other in another part. Therefore, different scholars and writers have used different methods.".

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