RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 2 Traditional and Modern Approach of Political Science

Go through these RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 2 Traditional and Modern Approach of Political Science contain important concepts so that students can score better marks in the exam.

Rajasthan Board RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 2 Traditional and Modern Approach of Political Science

→ Political Science is a very ancient and important branch of knowledge.

→ There are mainly two approaches of Political Science: (i) Traditional Approach, (ii) Modern Approach.

→ An extensive revolutionary change took place against the traditional concept of field of Political Science after Second World War, which was called behaviouralism.

Meaning of Behaviouralism

  • Behaviouralism is a special method to arrange and analyze political data which was developed by American political thinkers after Second World War.
  • This approach concentrates completely on political behaviour in context of political science.
  • David Easton was considered as the propounder of this approach.
  • Behaviouralism believes in continuous improvement in experiential research and procedures. There is no place for personal values, imaginations and humanist considerations in it.
  • Behaviouralism is such an approach that aims at the development of new organised
    methods along with the new units of analysis, new methods and techniques, new facts and an ordered principle.
  • Behaviouralism is based on the assumption of a qualitative continuity between natural sciences and social sciences.
  • According to behaviouralists, man is a social animal.

RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 2 Traditional and Modern Approach of Political Science

Development of Behaviouralistic Approach

  • The most significant development of Political Science after the Second Word War is – Behaviouralism.
  • This is a modern approach of political analysis.
  • Main elements helpful in emergence and development of behaviouralism are (i) Experientialism (ii) Realistic experiences of political thinkers during the Second World War.
  • The book ‘New Aspects of Politics’ written by Charles Merriam in 1925 has extended a special contribution in development of behaviouralism.
  • P.V Smith, Charles Merriam and Harold Lasswell of Chicago University are considered to by the founders of the behaviouralistic approach.
  • After that, David Easton, Almond Hallman, Karl Diach, and Edward Shilz, etc. contributed a lot for the development of behaviouralistic movement.

Reasons of Emergence of Behaviouralism

Reasons of emergence of behaviouralism in Political Science are:

  • Dissatisfaction towards traditional methods of study.
  • Impact of the Second World War.
  • Inspiration from other social sciences
  • Use of modern study methods.

Features and Basic Concepts of Behaviouralism

  • Scholars like David Truman, Heinz Eeulau, Samuel J. Elderweld, Morris Janobiz and David Easton, etc. have extended significant contibution in the development of features and basic concepts of behaviouralism.
  • David Easton has given eight main bases of behaviouralism – (i) Regulation (ii) Verification (iii) Use of techniques (iv) Quantification (v) Sequencing (vi) Value-determination (vii) Entirety (viii) Pure science.

RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 2 Traditional and Modern Approach of Political Science

Criticism and Limits of Behaviouralism

Main critics of behaviouralism are Arnold Bresht, Leo Strauss, Sibli, Kirk Patrick, Robert A. Dahl and Dyce.
Behaviouralism is criticised on the basis of the following points :

  • Use of very difficult terminology
  • Undue stress on techniques and methods
  • Wrong concept of political behaviour
  • Value-free study is not possible
  • Very expensive method
  • Contrast in speech and deeds
  • Not possible to find the regularity of human behaviour
  • Fixed principles and predictions not possible
  • Wrong to ignore other methods for study
  • Threat to independent existence of political science
  • Unable to help in policy formation
  • Problem regarding micro and macro units.

Contribution of Behaviouralism or Importance of Behaviouralism in Political Science

  • Behaviouralism has various useful aspects, that’s why its importance is accepted in political science even after much criticism.
  • Political science is now called as ‘New Political Science’, only because of the impact of behaviouralism.
  • Literature of Political Science has increased significantly due to behaviouralism.
  • It lays stress on use of scientific methods in the study of Political Science.
  • It gives an inter-disciplinary form to Political Science.
  • It has given many alternative concepts to Political Science which have special importance in the study of Political Science.
  • Aim, subject-matter, nature and study methods have changed significantly due to behaviouralism. This movement has given a scientific dimension to Political Science.


  • Many shortfalls of behaviouralism came into light even before the end of decade of 1960 and a new dissatisfaction arose against behaviouralism.
  • This dissatisfaction was firstly expressed by David Easton in September 1969 in the conference of ‘American Political Science Association’ in New York.
  • Many classical behaviouralists established post-behaviouralism in place of behaviouralism.
  • David Easton has taken post-behaviouralism not as a reaction, but as a positive reform in behaviouralism movement.

Meaning of Post-Behaviouralism

  • Post-behaviouralism supports making Political Science justifiable and relevant by including values in political analysis.
  • There are two bases of post-behaviouralism :
    (i) Action (ii) Relevance.
  • Post-behaviouralist think that relevance of research is more important than methods of research.
  • Post-behaviouralism emphasises that research and study of Political Science should be relevant in context to the real needs of the society.
  • Post-behaviouralism urges the political thinkers to lead the society and study neutrally, rather than to become indifferent and adopt an escapist tendency towards political and social problems.

RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 2 Traditional and Modern Approach of Political Science

Reasons of Rise of Post – Behaviouralism Revolution

  • Post-Behaviouralism movement came into existence due to shortfalls of traditional and behaviouralist approaches.
  • Main reasons of rise of post-behaviouralism revolution are – (i) Reaction against behaviouralism. (ii) Disagreement with study methods, (iii) Neglecting responsibility towards world humanity, (iv) Disappointment in behaviouralistic research.

Difference between Traditionalism and Post-behaviouralism

There is a significant difference between traditional approach and post-behaviouralism. Main points of differences are:

  • Differences in various concepts of development.
  • Differences in nature of opposition.
  • Differences in ideologies.
  • Differences in methods of study.
  • Differences in approach to changes.
  • Differences in context of relevance.

Traditional political thinkers are satisfied with present state of Political Science, whereas, behaviouralism believes in continuous progress of Political Science.

Fundamental Assumptions and Features of Post-behaviouralism

The great supporter of behaviouralism in Political Science, David Easton, has explained two features of post-behaviouralism

  • Relevance of research
  • Action.

David Easton has propounded seven concepts of post-behaviouralism, which he has defined as ‘Rules of Relevance’. These are:

  • Stress on social change
  • Stress on solution of problems
  • Important role of values
  • Role of intellectuals
  • Stress on action
  • Politicisation of professions
  • Precepts of procedure.

RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 2 Traditional and Modern Approach of Political Science

Comparison (Difference) between Behaviouralism and Post-Behaviouralism

Main differences between behaviouralism and post-behaviouralism are.

  • Difference in different phases of development
  • Difference in nature
  • Difference in assumptions
  • Difference in outlook
  • Difference in relevance.

Criticism of Post-Behaviouralism

  • Post-behaviouralism has given a new dimension to political science, yet, it is criticized on many bases.
  • Main points of criticism of post-behaviouralism are: (i) Inter-contrast, (ii) Unscientific outlook, (iii) Representative of liberal values, (iv) Less significant for the third world, (v) Representative of national interests of America.
  • Importance of post-behaviouralism cannot be ignored even after much criticism.
  • Post-behaviouralism has established a proper balance by removing the defects of traditionalism and behaviouralism.
  • Post-behaviouralism represents the balanced the and most modern phase of development of Political Science.

RBSE Class 11 Political Science Notes Chapter 2 Traditional and Modern Approach of Political Science

Traditional and Modern Approach of Political Science Notes Important Terms

→ Second World War: War among all the major powers of world during 1939 to 1945. On one side, there were Axis nations-Germany, Italy, Japan, Finland, Romania and Hungary, and on the other side, there were Allied nations – Britain, France, China, Poland, USA and their Colonies. The war started along with the attack on Poland by Germany on 1st September, 1939 and it ended on 14th August 1945.

→ Behaviouralism: This is an intellectual outlook, a study method, a movement and psychological thought, that is based on realistic approach and which wants to make Political Science a pure science by studying human behaviour on the basis of experience.

→ Chicago Community: Political thinker Charles Merriam made Chicago University in U.S.A. the center of the propagation of his thoughts and developed behaviouralism. Gradually, his followers and colleagues increased and the political outlook of all those people was called ‘Chicago Community’.

→ Fascism: The word ‘fascism’ is derived from Italian word ‘fascio’, which means a bundle of sticks and an axe. This is the symbol of national unity and power. It is not any organised political philosophy. This is considered as the Italian version of totalitarianism. This emerged in Italy. This ideology came to an end along with the decline of its founder Mussolini, after the end of Second World War.

→ Nazism: A concept that developed in Germany between the two world wars. The word ‘Nazism’ became famous with the party (National Socialist German Workers Party) formed by Hitler.

→ Intellectual Base of Behaviouralism: David Easton has explained eight features of behaviouralism in his article, ‘Present meaning of behaviouralism’, and these are called ‘Intellectual cornerstone of behaviouralism.

→ Third World: Newly-liberated and underdeveloped countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America after the Second World War are called ‘Third World’. There countries are poor and problem-stricken.

→ Regulation: Regulation means that it is possible to form rules and methods to study political science.

→ Verification: Verification means that the truthfulness and authenticity of all the rules which are made about human behaviour should be checked.

→ Technique: Technique means those means of study which are helpful in choosing, organising and objectively analyzing the data and facts.

→ Quantification: Process of purification of collected data, facts and description, etc. is called quantification.

→ Inter-disciplinary Approach: Behaviouralism accepts the deep relationship between political science and other social sciences. Political science should be studied in the context of other social sciences. According to behaviouralism, one discipline should adopt the study methods and achievements of other disciplines. This fact is called inter-disciplinary approach.

→ Post Behaviouralism: This is an intellectual revolution. This is a reform movement of behaviouralism. It gives stress on action and relevance.

→ Concept of Relevance: Whatever method is used for research, its relevance is the most important. David Easton has called this the concept of relevance.

→ David Easton: Propounder of behaviouralism. He explained that behaviouralism concentrates on real person. He wrote a book, ‘The Political System’. Later, he accepted post-behaviouralism as a significant reform in behaviouralism.

→ Robert A Dahl: Famous political thinker, and a supporter of behaviouralism. He considered that behaviouralism was a reaction against the dissatisfaction with failures of traditional Political Science.

→ Charles Merriam: Political thinker who contributed significantly towards the development of behaviouralism. His book ‘New Aspects of Politics’ has an important place in the development of this concept. He formed the ‘Chicago community’.

→ Machiavelli: Philosopher and political thinker of Italy. He is called ‘Child of Renaissance’. He factfully analyzed the model of ‘National State’ for the regulation of selfishness of human being in capitalist society and social competition thereof, by the supreme sovereign state. His book ‘Prince’ is very famous.

→ John Locke: Important English philosopher of 17th century. His thoughts are found in his book ‘Second Treatise’, published in 1690. His ‘Method of Division of power’ is an important contribution to Political Science. He considered life, liberty and property free from the controlling power of state.

→ Montesquieu: Liberal political thinker of France. He wrote a book entitled ‘The Spirit of the Laws’.

→ Dr S.P Verma: Famous Indian political thinker. He told that experience-based ideologists have created a confusing web of words through behaviouralism to achieve neutrality and unbiasedness.

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