The scope of Political Science is comprehensive, and it has great significance. In recent years, its importance has multiplied. Man is a political animal, and in all spheres of his life he is, directly or indirectly, influenced by politics. For several reasons, the study of Political Science has become indispensable to social welfare and development.
1. Provides Information and Idea about State and Government:
Political Science provides valuable information and ideas about state, government and many political organisations and institutions to the individual. State is the most universal and powerful of all social institutions, and politically enlightened people are capable of playing a useful role in social and political affairs.
2. Provides Good Idea about Government, Administration and Diplomacy:
Statesman, political leaders, legislators, administrators and diplomats are in charge of running the government in different spheres. To efficiently conduct their business and discharge their function, they need the knowledge of Political Science. Statecraft depends on political theory.
The study of Political Science is very important for the efficient organisation and development of the political system, because Political Science is the science of state. Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum imparted valuable training to future statesmen and administrators.
In modern times the future leaders of the country are being educated and trained about various aspects of government and administration in different academic institutes and centers.
3. Builds Good Citizens:
The knowledge gained by Political Science helps in building good citizens. Now-a-days the individual is not a passive spectator in regard to administration. He is inclined to influence its decisions. It is therefore necessary for the citizen to learn about nation-building, the jurisdiction and functions of state. Political awareness contributes to good citizenships.
The citizen should be aware of his rights and duties granted by the state. He should learn how he will be able to win back his rights, if these are usurped by state. Vigilant citizens can prevent encroachment of their rights by state and other external agencies. They can also prevent misuse of power.
Therefore it has been said, “Eternal Vigilance is the price of liberty.” In modern welfare states, laws are not meant only to control and discipline individuals. Laws also help in taking several welfare measures. Thus, the success of a welfare state depends on the awareness and vigilance of people. Political Science also helps individuals gain good idea about the aims and objectives, and functions of various organisations of a state.
4. Forges Harmony between Individual’s Freedom and State’s control:
Another objective of Political Science is to establish balance between state and individual. The freedom of individual and power of state should be integrated and harmonised. Political Science studies the limit of state’s control over individual’s freedom and the area of individual’s freedom.
It educates the individual about the ideals of patriotism, toleration, sacrifice and national integration. It enables him to be broad-minded, and to get rid of different kinds of parochialism like regionalism, casteism and communalism.
5. Stimulates International Peace and Cooperation:
The study of politics stimulates international peace and cooperation. Political Science has conceived the dream of ‘one- world-state’ through world peace and cooperation. It is now the goal of many international organisations to free the world from the scourge of nuclear weapons and to establish peaceful existence. George Bernard Shaw has aptly observed, “Political Science is the science by which alone civilization can be saved.”
6. Facilitates Social Change:
Political Science, being a dynamic social science, contributes to social change. The study of Political Science enables the individual to have good knowledge about progressive ideas and revolutionary changes.
This makes it easy to take collective decisions in social, economic and political fields. Besides, the study of Political Science enlightens the mind of the man and enriches the pool of knowledge. According to A.L. Rouse, “A people that neglect politics cannot as a people be happy.”
7. Makes Democracy a Success:
Political Science increases the political awareness of man, makes him aware of his freedoms, rights and duties and also reminds the government of its duty and responsibility towards the people. Enlightened, conscious and vigilant citizens will make the government accountable, and significantly contribute towards the establishment of social justice and equality.
Political Science creates conducive condition for the success of democracy by laying emphasis on social and economic democracy. Two main pillars of democracy are conscious and alert citizens, and a responsible government. In creating these conditions Political Science plays a vital role.
There is the need of studying Political Science in a country like India. As a result of the independence movement, the colonial Britain left India, and democracy has been introduced in independent India, but political independence is far from strong and stable as people are far away from social and economic freedom and justice.
Progress has been made, but the road to meaningful freedom, equality and justice is long. It is important that the efficiency, commitment and integrity of government be increased and the people become conscious, dutiful and vigilant. The study of politics contributes to generation of these qualities.