Scope/Area and Nature of Political Theory

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subject scope/Area of political theory

Political theory is one of the simplest and most complex concepts of political science.  Each person constructs the principle of helping himself and others and works on its basis.  Therefore, the scope of political theory is becoming very broad.  We can divide it into two parts--

 (a) Traditional Approach

 It gives importance to values and goals on a classical basis and in this study of origin, development, organization, types, political parties, political ideologies of states and government, comparative study of governments and constitutions, international relations and national administration etc.  .  According to this view, the scope of political theory is limited.

(b) Modern Approach

According to the modern point of view, the scope of political theory is very wide.  Earlier it had 6 sub-fields of study which were increased to 27 in 1967.  According to this, various topics have been included in political person and his behavior, group, balance, power control and influence institutions, administration, international political theory, ideology, research methods, statistical survey etc.

Generally, the following topics can be included under political theory--

1. Study of State and Government

The study of state and government comes first under the subject area of political theory. Since ancient times, about the origin, development, nature, scope of state has been thinking through the political theory. Along with various forms of government such as dynasty, oligarchy, democracy, parliamentary presidential, unitary federal  have also been studied.  And there are many problems related to them like - Legislature is unicameral or bicameral, what are the characteristics of efficient executive and what should be the role of bureaucracy etc. The problems are raised under political theory and the decisions related to them are also determined.  

2. Study of Human Groups, Classes and Institutions

 In political theory, along with the study of state and government, human groups, different classes, institutions are also studied in the society because it is not possible to study the state or government by keeping them separate from these different forms of society.  No community or class in the society is able to fulfill its own needs, so they have relation with other classes also.  Pluralists have laid special emphasis on the study of other communities of the state such as trade unions, business unions, student and women unions, families etc.  The theory of class structure and struggle of Marxists has become its focal point.

3. Study and review of questions related to political party, franchise and electoral politics

Political parties, their structure and functions are also studied under political theory.  Mainly the one-party system, bi-party system and multi-party system are discussed in detail.  Along with this, many theories have also been propounded regarding the franchise and representation of the people.  Subjects like direct or indirect decision making system also come under it.

4. Study of Power

At present, the study of power has also been included in the field of political theory.  There are many forms of power, such as social, political and military power, economic personal power, national and international power etc.  Political theorist, looking at these different forms of power, wants to know who gets what, how and why in human society.  But political theorists give more importance to political power.

5. Study of Human Behavior 

Modern scholars of politics have considered political behavior as the main subject of political science.  He has emphasized that what a person does in the political field, or the motivation behind it, should be studied in political theory.  All the activities that man does while living in society should come under political theory.  According to these modern scholars, man is a set of emotions, he has his own tendencies and desires, on the basis of which give great importance to his political behavior.  By studying scientific method, measures can be given to remove the shortcomings of man, so that such mistakes do not happen in future.

6. Study of International Relations

Due to the facilities  of transport, today it has become easier to go somewhere than before, due to which it is natural to have mutual relations in different states.  For this reason, international law, organizations like United Nations Organization  have to be studied in political theory.

7. Study of Power

 Political theory lays special emphasis on the study of power.  Great political philosophers like Machiavelli and Hobbes have considered politics as power and  a struggle for its.  In the period after the First World War, it came to be called the science of power.  Aristotle gets the credit for knowing this.  Machiavelli showed a 'new path' of politics by completely putting aside religion and morality, hence he is called the father of new politics.  Hobbes did a comprehensive study of power.  He made such solid and irrefutable laws as there are in physics.  That is why he is called the father of scientific politics.

8. Study of the Problems of Development and Modernization

 Due to the increasing influence of sociology, some new concepts have also been adopted in political theory, which include socialization, development, poverty, inequality and modernization.  The problems arising out of development and modernization have become the main reference point of political theories, that is why most of the theorists of today are engaged in continuous research for the development and nation building of backward countries.

9. Study of Social Values

 Generally, values have no place in political theories.  Earlier, value neutral study was considered to be the best, but in the present day the thought of recognizing social values has started.  Behaviorist scholars have started working towards making political theory useful by giving place to values in their study.

10. Study of Problems and Conflicts

 It is not possible to fulfill unlimited needs with limited resources, so many problems and conflicts keep arising in the society, for which power is required, hence all these are also given place in political theory.

11. Study of Policies

 Modern scholars also want to include the study of policies in the subject area of political theory and believe that the study of political theory will remain incomplete without the study of policies.  The names of Huddle, Easton and Laswell are notable among the supporting scholars of this view.

nature of political theory

Scholars like David Easton, Robert Huddle, Catlin, Laswell etc. have studied political theory in America from a new perspective, as a result of which new ideologies emerged.  On the basis of the development of modern political theory, its nature can be discussed in the following form-

1. Adopting a Political Approach

 At present, political approach is adopted for the study of political science, in which all social institutions, forces and traditional bonds are studied because political convonience are closely related to the internal activities of social forces.

 2. empirical

Political theory emphasizes on adopting realistic and practical approach, most of its studies are descriptive and experiential which are based on techniques like observation, measurement, reasoning etc.  Objectivity has replaced subjectivity.

 3. Complete Knowledge Base

 Political theory provides complete knowledge of political events and institutions.  Under this, a complete study of all types of political events is done.  It deals with the study of all the situations facing human beings in the present time.

4. Study of Human Behavior

 In the modern period, the field of political science has become wide, so along with formal organizations, human nature and behavior are also studied because in political theories, human behavior is considered to be the driver of power, so to understand the real nature of politics. So this study of human behavior is absolutely necessary.

5. Study of Power

 Power is the basis of society, so in the study of political science, preference is given to the study of power.  Laswell wrote, “Political science as an empiricist system studies power and consumption.”  Caitlin called politics the science of power.

6. Realistic Science

 The science of political theory is realistic because the scholars of political science now study by abandoning the traditional limits, they try to study the real situations and make them the basis of the concepts that reveal the reality.

7. Developmental Stage

Political theory in political science is still in a developing stage.  Gradually reality is entering into it and gradually it is getting mature.

8. Researcher's Approach

 In the study of political theory, researchers present their point of view without any bias and bias.  He behaves and behaves without discrimination.  He does not pay attention to beliefs and values.

9. Continuous Testing

The task of testing is done repeatedly in the theory of political science.  From this point of view, the process of examination remains continuous, due to which the credibility of modern political theories remains.  In this way, the work of testing for new discoveries goes on continuously.

10. Using Creative Imagination

The scientific study of modern political theory employs creative imagination in order to purify the study and reach as much reality as possible.

11. Formation of Hypothesis

 To study political theory scientifically, the researcher makes a hypothesis in advance and then observes, tests, experiments and classifies on the basis of that.

12. Theory Formation

For the scientific study of political theory, relationships are established between experiments, research, classification, analysis, results, etc., so that there is no difficulty in interpretation.  The theory is built on this basis.

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