Go through these RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 1 Political Science: Meaning, Nature & Scope contain important concepts so that students can score better marks in the exam.
Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 1 Political Science: Meaning, Nature & Scope
→ According to the famous Greek Philosopher Aristotle, “Man is by nature, a political animal.”
→ Ancient Indian thinkers had divided the Vidyas (knowledge) in four parts: Trayi, Varta, Anvikshiki, Dandaniti.
→ Ancient Indian thinkers laid great importance on dandaniti.
→ Man is a social animal. He can fulfil his basic necessities only by living in the society.
→ Political relations of human beings are studied in Political Science.
→ Political Science is a part of those sciences which are collectively referred to as “Social Science” and the main topic of those sciences is man or human society.
Definition of Political Science: Traditional definition
- Scholars lack unanimity about the meaning and definition of political science.
- The English word ‘politics’ is derived from Greek word ‘Polis’, which means ‘city-state’.
- In modern times, Political Science is related to the organised and systematic knowledge and study of various contents and relations under state, government and governance.
- Different scholars have given different definitions of Political Science on the basis of their different points of view and thoughts. These definitions can mainly be divided into two aspects (i) Traditional (ii) Modern.
- Traditional view of Political Science is idealistic, philosophical and utopian. It has laid emphasis on values, ethics and morals.
- According to traditional view, Political Science is defined under four meanings : (i) As a study of state, (ii) As a study of government, (iii) As a study of state and government, (iv) As a study of state, government and people.
(i) Political science: As a Study of State
- Scholars of this aspect are of the view that state is the central point of study of Political Science.
- Main scholars of this view include Garner, Garies, Gettell and Bluntschli.
(ii) Political Science: As a Study of Government
- Political Science is not the study of state, state is also an abstract phenomenon. Government gives a definite shape to the expectations and orders of a state. So, one group of scholars believes that political science is a study of government.
- Scholars, like John Sealey, Leacock and Paul Janet have defined Political Science as a study of government.
(iii) Political science: As a Study of State & Government Both
- Some scholars are of the view that Political Science studies both, state and government. R.N. Gilchrist, Paul Janet and Demock, etc. are the main scholars who support this view.
(iv) Political science: As a study of State, Government and People
- Scholars like, Laski, Gettell, Herman Heller, etc. have defined Political Science as the study of state, government and people.
- Importance has been given to the study of state, government and political aspects of human life in traditional Political Science.
Definition of Political Science: Modern Point of View
- Catlin, Juvenell, Lasswell, Easton, Max Webber, Bertrand Russell, Almond, Herbert Simon, etc. are considered to be the main propounders of the modern view of Political Science.
- Political science can be studied in the following four ways on the basis of modern point of view :
(i) Political Science is the study of human actvities.
(ii) Political Science is the study of power.
(iii) Political Science is the study of political system.
(iv) Political Science is the study of policy making and decision-making process.
(i) Political Science: Study of Human Activities
- Modern behaviourist scholars consider Political Science as a science which studies
- political activities of man, and social, economic and other aspects of human life.
- The main supporters of this theory are Catlin and Juvenell.
(ii) Political Science: Study of Power
- Modern political thinkers believe power to be the central theme of the study of Political Science. The main supporters of this theory are Catlin, Lasswell, Merriam, Max Webber, Bertrand Russell and Morgenthau, etc.
(iii) Political Science: Study of Political System
- Political system is a broad concept. It includes both the formal organisation of the government as well as the elements which influence the government.
- The main supporters of this theory are David Easton and Almond.
(iv) Political Science: Study of Policy Making and Decision-Making Process
- Some modern political thinkers consider Political Science as the study of process of policymaking and decision-making process. The main supporters of this include Herbert Simon and Lasswell, etc.
Nature of Political Science
- Scholars lack unanimity about the nature of Political Science. Some thinkers consider it to be a Science, while others doubt its scientific components and consider it to be an Art.
Political Science is not a Science:
→ Many thinkers are of the view that political science is not a science. August Kamte, Buckle, Metland, Brozen, Burke, etc. do not accept its scientific aspect.
→ Arguments to oppose Political Science as a science:
- Lack of universal methodology
- Lack of fixed and continuous theories
- Experiments are not possible
- impossibility of measuring political activities
- Lack of predictions
- Difficult to fix the cause-effect relationship
- Difference in the nature of subject matter.
Political Science is a Science
- Political Science can be defined as a science. Though it cannot be considered a science as other natural sciences, but it is definitely a social science.
- Laski, Brice, Bluntschli, Finer, Bodin, Hobbes, Montesque, etc. consider political science to be a science.
- Arguments in favour of Political Science as being a science:
(i) Systematic knowledge, (ii) Observations and experiments are possible, (iii) Scientific methods can be applied, (iv) Universal theories, (v) Possible to establish a relation between cause and effect, (vi) Ability of predictions.
Political Science: As an Art
- Political Science is also an art by nature. Ancient Indian scholars Brahaspati, Manu,
Shukra and Kautilya considered it as an art of governance. Plato also agereed to this theory.
- Political Science is both a science and an art by nature. Though it is not a natural science, it is a social science.
Scope of Political Science
There are mainly two points of view in context of scope of political science: (i) Traditional view (ii) Modern view.
(i) Traditional View:
According to various political thinkers and the UNESCO, scope of study of traditional view of Political Science includes the following subject tpoics :
- (i) Study of political life of man.
- Study of state
- Study of government
- Study of political theories
- Study of local philosophy and national and international problems
- Study of political parties and presure groups
- Study of diplomacy
- Study of international organisations
- Study of international laws
- Study of international relations
- Study of local government.
Thinkers who support the traditioanl view of scope of political science are Gettell, Garness, Laski, Paul Janet.
(ii) Modern View:
- Main supporters of the modern view are: Catlin, Lasswell, Robert A. Dahl, etc.
- According to modern view, the following aspects can be included in the study of Political Science : (i) Study of political behaviour of man. (ii) Study of different political concepts, (iii) Use of scientific methods, (v) Study of conflict and co-operation in matters of public concern.
Difference between Traditional and Modern Points of View
Main points of difference between traditional and modern points of view are :
- Difference of period
- Difference of nature
- Difference in subject matter
- Formal and non-formal study
- Difference in study methods
- Difference in authenticity and determination.
Study Methods (features) of Modern Political Science:
Following are the major trends of the developments which have taken place in the field of Political Science after the second world war:
- Individual study
- Scientific factor
- Practical approach
- Freedom from values
- Inter-disciplinary aspect
- Evolution as a science of real society
- Relation between resarch and theories
- Study of practical problems
- Behaviourist approach.
Difference between Traditional and Modern Political Science
Main points of difference between traditional and modern political science are as under:
- Differences related to definition
- Difference of subject matter
- Difference related to nature
- Difference related to values
- Difference of purpose
- Difference in method of study.
Political Science: Meaning, Nature & Scope Notes Important Terms
→ Political Science: Political Science is that part of social science which explains the establishment of the state and the theory of government. The word ‘Politics’ is derived from Greek word ‘Polis’, which means “city-state”. According to Chanakya, “The branch of knowledge which propounds punishment is called Political Science.”
→ Trayi Vidya (Triple knowledge): In ancient times, the vidya that included the knowledge of Vedas, Vedangas and other ethical and spiritual subjects was called ‘Trayi-vidya’.
→ Varta: Knowledge of agriculture, cattle rearing, handicraft and business was called Varta.
→ Anvikshiki: The knowledge that maintained balance between the efforts done by ‘Trayi’ or Varta’ was called Anvikshiki;
→ Dandaniti: Organisational arrangement of enforcement in accordance with the criteria of Anvikshiki for the fulfilment of materialistic and spiritual purpose of human life is called Dandaniti.
→ State: Group of civilised people is called state. In other words, where, in a community of people, there is established order or punishment, difference between the ruler and the ruled because of power, it is called state.
→ Economics: The subject in which economic or monetary relations of human beings are studied is called econimics. Economics is the study of money and assets.
→ Ethics: When a man, living in a society, thinks what is right and what is wrong and what is the appropriate behaviour towards others, this type of study is called ethics.
→ Social Science: Science which performs the study of mankind or human society is called Social Science. Political Science also comes under it.
→ Power: Ability of a person to control another’s work and mind is called power. It is the ability to control others and make them perform purposeful activities. Ability to maintain relations between man and state is also called power.
→ Science: Systematic and logical study of any topic is called science.
→ Art: Any subject, the theoretical knowledge of which is possible to be applied in practical life and which makes life more happy is called an art.
→ Constitution: Group of those rules, which establishes the powers of government, rights of the governed, and relationship between the two, is called constitution.
→ Political Party: Group of people who work for the purpose of fighting elections and participating in the government after winning elections.
→ Pressure group: This is an organisation made to reinforce the particular motives of people and which pressurises the government for making public rules and laws.
→ Idealism: This is a major political philosoply. According to this philosophy, state is a symbol of man’s practical will. All-round development of a man is possible only under a state. There can be no right of anyone against the state. Man has no existence separate from the state. State is an omnipotent, omnipresent and ethical organisation.
→ Individualism: An ideology of Political Science. It is an outcome of 19th century political theory. It was propounded first by Bentham and James Mill. According to this theory, state is a means. It should not interfere in the economic field. Individualism considers state to be an essential vice.
→ Anarchism: A main political philosophy. It thinks of the state as a means. Development of man is possible only when the power of state ends. State is an unnecessary, unwanted and unnatural organisation.
→ Fascism: The word fascism is derived from Italian word ‘Fascio’, which means a bundle of sticks and an axe.
This is not any regular political theory. Mussolini propounded it as a message and as a programme to influence the public of Italy. This is considered as the Italian version of Authoritianism/Totalitarianism. It opposes man’s freedom. It lays emphasis on national unity, discipline and obedience rather that personal freedom. It is opposite to democracy.
→ Socialism: This word has been derived from ‘Socius’, which means society. It means socialism is a theory related to the society. Many definitions of socialism have been given. According to Encyclopedia Britanica, Socialism is that ideology, which aims at good distribution and production of wealth by the means of central democratic power.
→ Communism: An ideology propounded by Karl Marx. According to this theory, all property and resources are collectively owned by the society. Distribution of production is based on the need of people, not on their contribution or ability.
→ Pluralism: A famous political ideology. According to it, state is a community. Pluralistic thinkers consider state as a means. They believe in controlled power. Laws are above and free of the state. Pluralism believes in the fact that different types of communities which are developed at different social levels have their own contribution in the all-round development of man.
→ Psychology: Science that studies the activities of human mind and its external behaviour is called psychology. According to Woodworth, Psychology is science of activities related to man.
→ Sociology: This is a general basic science that studies the basic elements of social life of man. It studies all the aspects of man’s life like social, legal, political, religious and economic.
→ Public problems: Those issues, which affect the whole society or a major part of it, are called public problems.
→ International Laws: State does not decide all the matters itself like war and peace, sea coast, open sea and extradition, etc.; rather such matters are decided in the context of other states. Laws that decide all these matters are called international laws.
→ Diplomacy: Since ages, states have been taking help of diplomacy for managing inter-personal relations. Ambassadors and spies are given much importance for smooth functioning of relations with other nations.
→ Acharya Shukra: Ancient Indian scholar. He gave much importance to Dandaniti. According to him dandaniti is real knowledge. Position and power of other knowledges depend on it.
→ Manu: Famous. Hindu saint and religious propounder, who is considered to be the founder of human race and the first lawgiver.
→ Chankaya: He is also called Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta. He helped in destroying the Nand dynasty and assigning the royal power to Chandragupta Maurya. His book ‘Arthashastra’ is a famous book based on the theme of government. He is considered as a great politician. According to him, society can be made peaceful only by the use of punishment for the development of Trayi, Varta and Anvikshiki.
→ Aristotle: Free thinker, serious and multi-talented disciple of Pluto, and teacher of Alexander, the great. He gave immense contribution in the fields of philosophy, politics and his main work was ‘Politics’. He is considered to be the Father of Political Science. He lived between 384 B.C. to 322 B.C.
→ Catlin: Famous political thinker and supporter of modern point of view of Political Science. According to him, Poltical Science is related to organised human society. It is everything an art, a science and a philosophy.
→ Bluntschli: Famous scholar who considered Poltical Science as a study of state. He maintained that Poltical Science tries to explain and understand the basic fundamental condition of the state, its nature and development of different aspects.
→ Garis: One of the prominent scholars of Poltical Science. Accroding to him, Political Science considers state as a powerful organisation.
→ Garner: Famous political thinker who considers Political Science starts and ends with state.
→ Gettell: He defined Political Science as a study of state. According to him, Political Science studies the past, present and future of the state, political organisations and activities, political institutions and political theories.
→ Paul Janet: He defined Political Science as the study of the government. According to him, politics is a part of social science under which the bases of the state and theories of governance are studied.
→ Seeley: He considered Political Science as a study of government.
→ Leacock: He considered Political Science as a study related to the government.
→ R.N. Gilchrist: Famous political thinker who considered Political Science as a study of state and government. He believed that Political Science is related to the general problems of state and government.
→ Demock: Famous political thinker who considered political science to be related to state and governement.
→ Laski: Renowned political philosopher who defined Political Science as the study of state, government and the individual.
→ Herman Heller: Famous political thinker. According to him, the whole aspect of Political Science is determined by basic pre-assumptions related to man.
→ Lasswell: Famous political scholar who supported the modern view of Political Science.
→ Plato: Disciple of famous philosopher Socrates. His period was 437 B.C. to 347 B.C. He is considered to be the Father of Western Philosophy. His famous book is “Republic’. He based his philosophical thinking on Socrates’ ideology, “Virtue is knowledge”. His another book is ‘Statesman’, in which he propounded politics as the best art of governance.