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Definition of Political Science

The study of politics at all levels of which the most basic is the study of conflict. Analysis of personal conflict may be a help to political scientists. Psychologists study aggressive instincts, or individual capacities to compromise, and these assist in understanding group conflict.

Collective conflict and its resolution is bound to be the main field of interest. Broadly speaking, study takes place at three levels: locally, nationally and internationally. Conflict between states is the core of the discipline international relations, sometimes taught as part of the syllabus of university departments of political science and sometimes taught in its own department. Conflict between local groups at the community level is also studied by political scientists. Groups may clash over the building of a new bypass or the closing of a footpath. In some countries local ethnic groups may resort to armed conflict.

A very large proportion of political science, however, is concerned with conflict and its resolution between nationally organized associations, of which there are two forms - pressure groups and political parties. Sometimes a case study might examine one of these in detail: frequently, however, comparative treatment yields greater comprehension of the political scene. This area of the subject is called comparative politics or political institutions. It involves some knowledge of constitutional law, a good deal of the historical background to institutions and an understanding of a country's political culture which includes its value-system as it relates to politics.

Another wide field of political science is concerned with the implementation of political decisions. Modern states have large administrative apparatuses which need supervision and co-ordination. These themes come under the rubric of public administration, one of the early foundations on which academic study of politics was built. Recently it has taken some stimulus from management studies and organizational theory. In addition it has extended into the study of policy-making because of the increasing influence of technocracy.

A further sector of the discipline is devoted to studying reasons for the maintenance and breakdown of political systems. Rebellions and revolutions are important watersheds in world history. The dramatic disintegration of the Soviet Union from 1989 to 1990 is a recent reminder of how an apparently stable regime may quickly collapse. Examination of revolutions leads to investigating cleavages within states, their depth and intensity and how to deal with them. This in turn has led to the exploration of environments of political systems, particularly where the polity overlaps with the economy and society. The two areas are known, respectively, as political economy."

Source:  The Blackwell Dictionary of Political Science available through CREDO Reference.

   Library of Congress Call Numbers

J = Political Science

For A Detailed Outline of the J Call Number, See: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/lcco_j.pdf

  •    J General legislative and executive papers

  •    JA Political science (General)

  •    JC Political theory

  •    JF Political institutions and public administration

  •    JJ Political institutions and public administration (North America)

  •    JK Political institutions and public administration (United States)

  •           JK 1-9593 United States
  •                JK 404-1685 Government. Public administration
  •                JK 501-868 Executive branch
  •                JK 631-868 Civil Service. Departments and agencies
  •                JK1 012-1432 Congress. Legislative branch
  •                     JK 1154-1276 Senate
  •                     JK 1308-1432 House of Representatives
  •                JK 1606-1683 Capital. Public buildings. Government property. Government purchasing
  •                JK1 717-2217 Political rights. Practical politics
  •                     JK 1758-1761 Citizenship
  •                     JK1 846-1929 Suffrage
  •                     JK1 965-2217 Electoral system
  •                JK 2255-2391 Political parties
  •                JK 2403-9593 State government
  •           JK 9663-9993 Confederate States of America
  •    JL Political institutions and public administration (Canada, Latin America, etc.)

  •    JN Political institutions and public administration (Europe)

  •    JQ Political institutions and public administration (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)

  •    JS Local government. Municipal government

  •    JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration

  •    JX International law, see JZ and KZ (obsolete)

  •    JZ International relations
     Selected Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Administrative Agencies
  • Authoritarianism
  • Christianity and Politics
  • Cities and Towns
  • Citizenship
  • Civics
  • Civil Disobedience
  • Civil Service
  • Civil Service United States
  • Colonies
  • Comparative Government
  • Conservatism
  • Decision Making
  • Democratic Party
  • Democracy
  • Despotism
  • Discourse Analysis Political Aspects
  • Economics
  • Education Political Aspects
  • Elections
  • Fascism
  • Federal Government
  • Feminism Political Aspects
  • Feminist Theory Political Aspects
  • Government Resistance to United States
  • Heads of State
  • Ideology
  • Imperialism
  • Indians of North America Government Relations
  • International Relations
  • Internet in Public Administration
  • Internet Political Aspects
  • Justice Philosophy
  • Leadership
  • Liberalism
  • Liberty
  • National Socialism
  • Nationalism
  • Plato Republic
  • Political Campaigns
  • Political Culture
  • Political Ethics
  • Political Leadership
  • Political Science
  • Political Science Methodology
  • Political Science Philosophy
  • Populism
  • Post Communism
  • Power Social Sciences
  • Presidents United States
  • Press and Politics
  • Primaries
  • Public Administration
  • Public Administration Decision Making
  • Radicalism
  • Referendum
  • Republican Party
  • Revolutions
  • Rhetoric Political Aspects
  • Right and Left Political Science
  • Right Wing Extremists
  • Self Determination National
  • Social Choice
  • Social Policy
  • State Governments
  • State The
  • Suffrage
  • Suffrage African Americans
  • Totalitarianism
  • Truth
  • United States Foreign Relations
  • United States History Revolution 1775-1783
  • United States Politics and Government
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Voting
  • War on Terrorism 2001
  • Welfare State
  • World Politics


Charles W. Chesnutt Library, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, N.C. 28301
Page Maintained By: Jan S. Whitfield
jwhitfield@uncfsu.edu
Last Updated:
3/9/10