This list of political science research paper topics is divided into the following thematic categories: Comparative Politics, Democracy, Election, International Relations, Public Administration, and Public Policy.
Comparative Politics Research Paper Topics
Comparative politics is a subdiscipline of political science. The goal of political science is to promote the comparison of different political entities, and comparative politics is the study of domestic politics within states. It differs from the other subdiscipline of political science—international relations— which instead focuses on politics between states. Traditionally, it has been assumed that whereas comparative politics studies politics in contexts where there is an ordering principle (the sovereign state), international relations, instead, studies politics in contexts without such a principle (the international system).
Democracy Research Paper Topics
Since the end of the Cold War, democracy has become the unrivaled form of government in the world. Acceptance of a country as a full partner in the global community of nations is considerably facilitated by its being characterized as a political democracy; international military interventions, as in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, state their goal as the building of democracy; less democratic countries are asked to improve the quality of their democracy to gain esteem; and countries that hardly possess the attributes of democratic governance claim to be democratic because such characterization is thought to bestow prestige on them.
Election Research Paper Topics
While election research has generated and tested many theories of the determinants of voting choice, its most significant achievement to date could well be described as the generation of vast amounts of information, primarily survey data, but broadening out to time series and comparative collections of economic indicators, voting statistics, government expenditures and policy indices, personnel and structures of governments, text-based counts of policy emphases, campaign issues, manifestos, and speeches—the range and quantity of the information is truly staggering and still underexplored.
International Relations Research Paper Topics
The field of international relations (commonly abbreviated IR) focuses on a variety of subjects. The many connotations that are usually associated with the term relations (one of the most under-specified terms in the field itself) and the aesthetic quality that accompanies relating the name of the field (IR) to a broad set of subjects subsumed under the same term in lowercase letters, “international relations,” help explain why both IR and international relations are still widely accepted.
Public Administration Research Paper Topics
Public administration is the term traditionally used to define the formal arrangements under which public organizations serve a government, ostensibly in the public interest. The development of the public administration model dating from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s was influenced primarily by Weber’s theory of bureaucracy, Northcote and Trevelyan’s recommendations relating to the establishment of a professional civil service in Britain, and Woodrow Wilson’s ideas in the United States for the separation of policy from administration.
Public Policy Research Paper Topics
Public policy is a set of decisions by governments and other political actors to influence, change, or frame a problem or issue that has been recognized as in the political realm by policy makers and/or the wider public. Scientific approaches toward public policies have proliferated over the postwar period as the size and scope of government interventions have continuously expanded. The study of public policy includes policy analysis or policy science, which identifies effective policy measures, policy instruments, which a government can employ, and the policy process, which analyses how a government comes to take a decision.
Political science as a discipline began to develop at American universities in the late nineteenth century. A new departmental structure of American universities, a birth of the disciplinary association and the founding of specialized publications created an academic community with transferable merits. After the war, the American model started to influence the study of politics worldwide, beginning in Western Europe. Today, the discipline is rapidly advancing especially in Asia and in Latin America. The past 60 years have witnessed political science becoming a pluralist discipline with different research traditions.
Politics has been discussed, evaluated and studied since the ancient times. It has also been taught at universities for centuries. However, the academic discipline of political science dates only from the late nineteenth century. This contradiction is due to the nature of academic disciplines. Although universities have existed at least since the founding of the University of Bologna in 1088, the medieval universities did not have much in common with modern universities starting to develop in the nineteenth century. New European higher education ideologies (Humboldt in Germany, Newman in Britain, the Napoleonic reforms in France) changed universities thoroughly. At the same time, American universities adopted and transformed European ideologies into a new mold. An important American innovation was the departmental structure of universities, which was created between 1890 and 1910. At that time, it was an internationally unique system. Departments stood between individual professors and the university as a corporate body. They allowed the better recognition of disciplines and formed a group of scholars with transferable merits.
In spite of the long heritage of political thinking in Europe, from the Sophists to Hegel and Marx, the modern political science was born in the United States. The main reason for this is the organizational and institutional change of American universities. On the other hand, university departments are not enough for a subject of teaching to be a discipline. A discipline needs a community of scholars interacting and communicating with each other across institutions. It also needs publishing outlets, journals, and disciplinary series. Also in this respect, American political scientists created conditions for the separate political science discipline in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century.