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Political Science is the study of human relationships that involve power, rule or authority. It is about how societies govern themselves and how societies ought to be governed. It is about the political behaviour of individuals and groups that occurs in all societies. This minor in Political Theory has two elements. The first concerns the normative basis of politics or how societies ought to be governed and includes consideration of political values, norms and ideologies. The second is concerned with different methodological approaches to the study of politics.
In politics there are three broad spectrums of theory which often overlap:
1. Conceptual theory does not have an agenda. It simply wants to understand what happens in the world of politics. In the first part of this course, this is the theory we’ll be involved with.
2. Scientific theory tries to understand and explain what goes on in the world. At the same time it generates laws to predict what will happen in the future.
3. Ideological theory is a call to action. It involves a strong normative aspect. Invokes a call to action, and has a practical dimension.
Political science can never fully be neutral like actual science claims to be. That’s because politics itself contains value. Political terms are not only theory-laden, they are value laden. Political terms involve both description as well as appraising the world.
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