Frontiers of Law, Political Science and Art

Commentary - (2022) Volume 10, Issue 4

An overview of key concepts and theories in political science
Amar Shaik*
Department of Political Science, Nottingham Trent University, Southwell, UK
*Correspondence: Amar Shaik, Department of Political Science, Nottingham Trent University, Southwell, UK,

Received: 01-Nov-2022 Editor assigned: 03-Nov-2022 Reviewed: 17-Nov-2022 Revised: 24-Nov-2022 Published: 02-Dec-2022, DOI: 10.51268/2736-1861.22.10.77


Political science is a vast and diverse field of study that explores the organization and operation of political systems. It examines the interactions between political actors, such as governments, political parties, interest groups, and citizens, and how they shape public policies and institutions. In this review article, I will provide an overview of the key concepts and theories in political science, as well as the major debates and issues that have emerged in the field.

One of the fundamental concepts in political science is power. Power refers to the ability of one actor to influence the behavior of another actor, often through the use of force, coercion, or persuasion. The distribution of power within a society is a crucial determinant of political outcomes, such as the adoption of policies, the resolution of conflicts, and the allocation of resources. Political scientists use various theoretical frameworks to analyze power relations, including Marxism, liberalism, and realism.

Marxism is a critical perspective that emphasizes the role of economic structures and class relations in shaping political systems. According to Marxists, political power is ultimately determined by the distribution of economic resources and the class struggle between the bourgeoisie (capitalist class) and the proletariat (working class). They argue that the state serves the interests of the ruling class and is used to maintain their economic dominance. Liberalism, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of individual rights, democratic institutions, and free markets. Liberals believe that political power should be decentralized and limited to protect individual liberties and promote economic growth. They argue that the state should be neutral and serve as a referee to ensure fair competition in the market.

Realism is a theory that emphasizes the role of power and self-interest in shaping international relations. Realists argue that states are the primary actors in the international system and are driven by the pursuit of power and security. They believe that conflicts between states are inevitable and that international institutions and norms are secondary to the balance of power. Another important concept in political science is democracy. Democracy is a form of government where power is vested in the people, either directly or through elected representatives. It is based on the principles of political equality, popular sovereignty, and majority rule. Political scientists have studied the conditions that promote democratic stability and the challenges that democracies face, such as corruption, inequality, and populism.

One of the major debates in political science is the role of institutions in shaping political outcomes. Institutions are formal or informal rules, norms, and procedures that govern political behavior. They can include constitutions, electoral systems, parties, bureaucracies, and civil society organizations.

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