Can the Study of Politics Be Scientific or Not?

The aim of this essay is to discuss “Can the study of politics be scientific or not? ” and I will give reasons for my arguments. It will be divided into three parts: the first part is the introduction, the second part discusses politics and science then the last part concludes the essay. Keywords: Politics and Scientific DEFINITIONS Politics: There are various definitions of politics. i. Politics is the art of managing conflicts. Conflicts occur at different levels for example between two or more people, between communities and between countries that is when people compete for different positions and when we go to vote.

ii. Politics can be understood as power and influence; that is it involves power, a relationship between people in which some people get offers to obey them. iii. Politics can also be conceived of as conflict management and it is the art of managing conflicts between different individuals and groups. iv. Politics is also about who get what, when and how. Scientific: Science: “Science is a knowledge”, writes Dr. Garner, “relating to a particular subject acquired by a systematic observation, experience or study which have been coordinated systematized and classified,” Dr. Garner: “Political Science and Government,” page 11.


There is a great diversity of opinion about the scientific character of this Science which conducts the study of the State and the Government. Some scholars consider politics as a Science of the State and the Government while others are of the opinion that it is one of the most backwards of all the arts. It was Aristotle the great thinker and writer of Greece on this subject (Politics) who first of all called it the supreme Science. Some other distinguished scholars like Bodin, Hobbles, Sidgwick, Bluntichli, Lord Bryce, Montesquieu, Cornwall Lewis and Jellinck are also of the same opinion.

I am also of the same opinion that the study of Politics can be Scientific as we are going to see later on. But there are authors like Buckle, Augusto Conte and F. W Maitland who have denied the scientific character of Political Science and are not ready to call it a Science at all. Refuting the Scientific character of Political Science Maitland: an eminent English writer- observes “when I see asset of examination questions headed by the words Political Science I regret the question but the title” F. W Maitland: collected paper volume 11.

Buckle another famous author also observes that “In the present state of knowledge, politics so far from being a Science is the most backward of all the arts. ” (Buckle: History of Civilization Vol. 1 pg. 361). While analysis this statement of buckle the following comment of Dr. Garner on this statement is worth noting to his book “Political Science and Government,” Dr. Garner writes, “Buckle, however, did not deny a possibility of a political Science what he lamented was that so little attention had been given to the study of the state that as a systematic branch of knowledge it was to crude and undeveloped to be considered a Science.

” Dr. Garner: “Political Science and Government,” pg. 13. Of the same opinion is J. S mill who wrote in 1843, “it is accordingly but of yesterday that a concept of political Science has existed anywhere but in the mind of, here and there, an isolated thinker, generally very ill-prepared of the realization. ” J. S Mill: “System of logic,” pg. 547. The German scholars have gone to the extent of adopting analytical methods in order to give this subject the character of a Science, Hoitzendorff has.