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Political Science as a Field of Study

Society and Conflict

Political Science is about how societies should and do deal with conflict. At its most basic level, Political Science entails asking how and why life and property should be protected and how cultural and economic aspirations are expressed and accommodated.

Political scientists also analyze the causes and consequences of war, disputes over territory and resources, problems of environmental degradation, poverty, terrorism and refugees, and the nature and consequences of globalization.

Society and Government

An important focus of Political Science is the relationship between society and government. The systematic study of national and international political systems involves investigation of how individuals, social movements, groups and parties relate to each other and to government; how the institutions of government operate; and how and why policies such as welfare, healthcare and multiculturalism work.

Justice, Liberty and Democracy

More generally, political scientists investigate such concepts as justice, liberty, representation and democracy, and explore ideologies that try to make sense of the political world, such as conservatism, liberalism, socialism, fascism, feminism and environmentalism.

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Degrees and Programs in Political Science

Subdisciplines and Courses in Political Science

Political Science Faculty and Research

Student Advising

See the Department of Political Science Student Advising page for more information on student advising.