Politics and Other Social Sciences

Topics: Sociology, Political science, Social sciences Pages: 8 (2407 words) Published: February 25, 2013
social sciences
Chapter 2

Man is a social animal. His social life has many dimensions – political, economic, sociological, psychological, historical etc. Social sciences deal with this multi-dimensional man, his collective life, social behaviour, organisations and activities. All of these dimensions of man are inter-connected leading to interrelationship among various social sciences. Political science, being one of the social sciences dealing with the political aspect of social man, has close connections with other social sciences. The modem approach in the study of social sciences is primarily interdisciplinary. It means that scholars of one specialized social science should work in coordination with scholars of other disciplines. This has resulted in a great deal of overlapping of disciplines. Interdisciplinary study has resulted in a rapid development of theoretical and applied aspects of politics and the sharpening of tools of research and analysis in the present century.

Political Science and History
Political Science and History are very closely connected. Jellinek remarked: It is almost a common-place today to affirm the necessity of historical study as a basis for a proper understanding of institutions, whether they be political, legal, or social.1 E.H. Carr holds that "the dual function of history (is) to enable man to understand the society of the past and to increase his mastery over the society of the present"} The cause and effect relationship of social phenomena can be understood by scientific understanding of history. History furnishes the political scientist the raw materials for comparison and induction. The relation of political science and history is well brought out in words of Seeley: "History without Political Science has no fruit. Political Science without history has no root". In the words of Freeman, "history is past politics and politics is present history". While political science is dependent on history for its material, it must be made clear that history supplies only part of its material. Again, all facts of history are not useful to political science. Garner rightly points out that not all of history is "past politics". Much of it – like the history of art, of science, of inventions, discoveries, military campaigns, language, customs, dress, industries, religious controversies – has little, if any, relation to politics and affords no material for political investigation. Political Science selects relevant facts out of history.

All political institutions are products of history. Without historical foundations, political science becomes merely speculative and abstract. History is a vast storehouse of facts and information from which political science draw its relevant materials for generalizations. Lipson writes: "with its chronological treatment, history offers to the student of politics a sense of growth and development and thus affords insight into the process of social change". Political science has influence on history. Political ideas of thought leaders have contributed in shaping human history. Political revolutions and political concepts like democracy, liberty, equality and political ideologies like liberalism, nationalism and socialism have substantially influenced the history of societies. Garner aptly observes: "to interpret history in its true significance we must study that politically.

Behaviouralism with its stress on empirical method has undermined the importance of historical method in recent political studies. Traditional method relied more on history as it believed that history can assist in understanding the present and act as a guide for the future.

Political Science and Economics
Political Science and economics are very closely related and cover a common ground to a large extent. Early writers on economics considered their subject as a branch of political science and termed it ‘political economy’....
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