What is the difference between political science and politics?

What is the difference between political science and politics?

Political science and politics, while closely related, are two distinct concepts that are often misunderstood. Political science is an academic discipline that studies the theory and practice of politics and government. It is a systematic study that involves analysis, description, and prediction of political behavior, political systems, and political culture. Political scientists use both humanistic and scientific perspectives and tools to examine the processes, systems, and political dynamics of countries around the world.

On the other hand, politics refers to the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power. It involves the use of strategy, negotiation, and other similar tactics to gain and maintain power within a government structure. Politics is more practical and is often seen in action in the daily workings of government, in policy-making, and in the interactions between nations on the global stage.

The difference between the two can be seen in their objectives and methodologies. Political science, as an academic discipline, seeks to understand politics, not to practice it. It uses various methodologies, including statistical analysis, case studies, surveys, and comparative studies, to understand political behavior and the functioning of political systems. It aims to develop a theoretical understanding of political phenomena and to contribute to a broader knowledge of human behavior.

Politics, however, is about the practice. It is about making decisions for a group, a country, or even an international community. It involves negotiation, debate, legislation, and policy-making. Politics is often driven by the pursuit of power, with individuals or groups using various strategies to achieve their goals. It is less about understanding and more about action.

In summary, while political science and politics are closely related, they are not the same. Political science is the systematic study of politics as an academic discipline, while politics is the practice of how power is gained and used in a society. The former is more theoretical and analytical, while the latter is more practical and action-oriented.

However, it is important to note that these two concepts are not mutually exclusive. They often intersect and influence each other. The theories and findings in political science can inform political practices, and the realities of politics often become the subject of study in political science. Understanding the distinction between the two can help us better appreciate the complexity of the political world.







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What is the difference between political science and politics?