Politics is basically the study of political institutions or arrangements in society, including the distribution of societal status, privileges, benefits and duties. The field of political science is also known as public administration. Politics is a subject that has been extensively studied by the social scientists over the course of many years, because political systems and institutions tend to change over time, and it is important for political scientists to be able to track how these changes occur and why they occur. Some of the different branches of this subject include the following: political theory; political psychology; political science; political science/social work; public administration; government; philosophy; sociology; and psychology.
Comparative Politics is one of the sub branches of political science that seeks to compare various political arrangements in the world with each other. This includes a comparison of statehood to empire, proportional representation to universal suffrage, and freedom to slavery. Another branch that compares political institutions is political theory. The focus of this sub-field is to analyze how various institutions form the basis of political systems, with an eye toward explaining why some systems are more successful than others. Among the areas that comparative politics addresses include: political institutions, constitutionalism, constitutional monarchies, rule of law, global political economy, and political systems.
International Politics is the application of political theory to the relationship between states in the world. It studies how politics and international relations arise and evolve with the interaction of diplomacy and the creation of political institutions. The areas that this sub-field studies include: world order, peace and security, human rights, international law, international terrorism, soft power, global economics, and political systems. The most prominent area that this sub-field studies is American politics. Other areas of concentration include international business and diplomacy, global terrorism, and peace and security.
Post-World War I Era: During the Post-World War I Era, the study of political economy began to focus more on the role of politics in economic development. This emphasis began in the European social sciences and moved onto the United States as well. This was a result of the major depression that occurred after World War I. The Depression led to the growth of international relations that focused on economic issues more than peace and security. International political economy became an area of increasing interest to those in politics. One of the developments that took place during the Post-World War I Era was the growth of the liberal arts.
Modern Political Economy: The growth of the middle class in modern societies led to changes in the way that markets and politics were viewed. Liberal democratic societies began to decline as they struggled to provide public goods and services. The growth in international trade and the ability for technological advancements to be employed on a larger scale led to a need for political systems that could be utilized to address some of these issues. Changes in political economy were made to create governmental institutions that could address these issues and gave citizens a stake in political decision making. The development of political science departments at universities and colleges has helped further the cause of political economy.
The development of political methodology has helped to create more rational political systems. The scientific basis of politics has influenced all aspects of policy making from national to regional government level. The creation of political science departments at colleges and universities helps to promote political decision making based on facts and not emotions. As people have become more informed about how the policies that are created to affect the world in general, this has led to a need to develop more rational political systems.