This program offers a general education and various concentrations of study: American politics, international affairs, legal studies and public administration.
Welcome to the World Wide Web site for the Political Science Department at Bridgewater State University. This web site includes information about the department, the degree programs, faculty members, and other information. It also includes information for political science students looking to access information resources for doing research in political science.
Political science is, in one sense, an ancient discipline and, in another sense, one of the most recently developed social sciences. The origins of the study of politics reach back to the commencement of human society, for men have always been making observations about the nature of their governments, the personalities of their leaders, and the consequences of their governments' actions.
Aristotle characterized politics as the "queen of the sciences," and in his works he classified governments according to their varying structures and made predictions about how each of these governments would behave. Other philosophers have shared Aristotle's political concerns. Machiavelli was certainly a student of politics, as was St. Thomas Aquinas. So too were John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean Jacques Rousseau.
On occasion, political theory and practice have been joined as they were in Philadelphia in 1789. The men who wrote the American Constitution were political theoreticians of the first magnitude who endeavored to mold political theories into working political institutions.
It is also true, however, that political science as it is taught today is a
very new discipline, one which has been developed in the United States in the
past forty years. During this period, scholars have attempted to move from observations
about politics to scientific observations about politics. This movement has
been marked by a widespread effort to collect data about politics and government
utilizing relatively new techniques developed by all the social sciences. Its
goal has been to describe and explain political phenomena with greater accuracy.
In short, political science today is constantly seeking to make itself rigorous
in terms of its standards of scholarship. It is now more demanding in its standards
of proof, and it is less ethnocentric in its perspective of world politics.
Last Modified: September 1, 2010