An ideology is a collection of ideas. Typically, each ideology contains certain ideas on what it considers to be the best form of government (e.g. democracy or autocracy) and the best economic system (e.g. capitalism or socialism). Sometimes the same word is used to identify both an ideology and one of its main ideas. For instance, “socialism” may refer to an economic system, or it may refer to an ideology which supports that economic system. The same term may also be used to refer to multiple ideologies, and that is why political scientists try to find consensus definitions for these terms.  Political Science is the systematic study of politics. Political Science deals with the meanings, functions and the workings of the state,  government, political institutions, public policies, political processes and political behaviour.  Political Science  is concerned with the art and science of politics.


Political Science is an art because it deals with normative questions such as values, justice, good and bad, culture, religion, etc. Political Science is an art because it is value-laden and speculative. Political Science is an art because its study relies on intuition and deductive reasoning to draw  conclusion or make judgment on a given political phenomena.

Science refers to “the means of acquiring knowledge through observation, experimentation and measurement” and its central feature the ‘scientific method’ involves verifying or falsifying hypotheses by testing them against empirical evidence” (Andrew Heywood, 2004)

Political Science is not and cannot be an exact science in the sense of natural sciences such as Physics and Chemistry.

However, Political Science is a social science which is a kind of science that studies social phenomena. Political Science is a science because it can apply the scientific method or tools in the study of some aspects of the social life . Example, voting pattern in election. Political Science is a science because it studies political issues systematically such that in some instances an observable, measurable and verifiable pattern can be established.


  • This approach is also known as Traditionalism or Normative approach. It is a qualitative approach to the study of politics
  • It is the oldest approach to the study of Politics.
  • The early stage of the study of politics was dominated by the Traditional Approach and its dominance continued till the mid 20th
  • Traditional approach focuses on the history, constitution, and institutions of the state such as the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, political parties, etc.
  • It is speculative, philosophical and value-laden.


  • This is one of the Traditional Approaches to the study of politics.
  • History is the study of past events in order to help us understand the present events.
  • In Political Science, History past politics and politics is present history.
  • Hence Historical Approach helps us to understand and explain present politics using past politics
  • The foci of Historical Approach are periods, themes and roles of statesmen and social conditions or a combination of these. It provides a sequential or chronological account of events being studied or issues under study.


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