Political Science Essay Topics

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This collection of more than 100 political science essay topics and example essays on political science highlights the most important topics, issues, questions, and debates that any student of the field ought to have mastered for effectiveness.

American Politics Essay Topics

Articles of Confederation
Electoral College
Faith-based Initiative
Great Society
Jacksonian Democracy
LGBT Legal Questions
LGBT Political Identity
New Deal
Pork Barrel
State of the Union
Town Hall Meeting
U.S. Political Thought
White Primary

Comparative Politics Essay Topics

Comparative Constitutional Systems
Comparative Economic Systems
Comparative Electoral Systems
Comparative Federalism
Comparative Institutionalism
Comparative Judicial Systems
Comparative Law
Comparative Legislative Systems
Comparative LGBT Movements
Comparative Party Systems
Comparative Political Economy
Comparative Politics
Comparative Regional Integration
Comparative Social Movements
Comparative Women’s Movement

Culture, Media, and Politics Essay Topics

Political Cartoons
Cultural Relations
Political Humor
Information Society
Internet and Politics
Political Journalism
Language and Language Policy
Language and Politics
Political Commentary in the Media
Media and Politics
Media Bias
Motion Pictures and Politics
Political Music
Political Novel
Poetry and Politics
Political Correctness
Political Culture
Politics, Literature, and Film
Political Satire
Television and Politics
Political Theater

Democracy and Democratization Essay Topics

Anti-democratic Thought
Capitalism and Democracy
Classical Greek Democracy
Consociational Democracy
Deliberative Democracy
Democracy and Democratization
Democracy and Development
Democratic Peace
Democratic Transition
Digital Democracy
Direct Democracy
Emerging Democracies
Empire and Democracy
Future of Democracy
Global Democratic Deficit
Industrial Democracy
Liberal Democracy
Parliamentary Democracy
Participatory Democracy
Representative Democracy
Third Way and Social Democracy

Foreign Policy Essay Topics

Atlantic Charter
Boundary Making and Boundary Disputes
Foreign Aid
Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy Role
Great Power
Gunboat Diplomacy
Humanitarian Intervention
International Cooperation
Iron Curtain
Marshall Plan
Millennium Development Goals
Monetary Union
Monroe Doctrine
New World Order
Nobel Peace Prize
Nonstate Actors
North-South Relations
Pax Americana
Power Cycle Theory
Power Transition Theory
Public Diplomacy
Sanctions and Embargoes
Strategic Interest
Summit Diplomacy
Third World Debt

International Relations Essay Topics

Balance of Power
Collapsed and Failed States
Economic Interdependence
Federation and Confederation
G7/G8 and G20
Human Security
International Administration
International Court of Justice (ICJ)
International Criminal Court (ICC)
International Criminal Tribunals
International Labor Organization (ILO)
International Labor Standards
International Law
International Monetary Fund
International Norms
International Organization
International Relations
International Relations Doctrines of Power
International Relations Worldviews and Frameworks
International System
League of Nations
Mandate System
Multinational Corporation (MNC)
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
Organization of American States (OAS)
Peace Corps
Relative Power
South (Third World)
State Compliance with International Law
Systems Structure
Systems Transformation
Transnational Movements
Transnational Voting
Trusteeship System
United Nations
World Bank
World Trade Organization (WTO)

Political Economy Essay Topics

Business Cycles, Political
Business Preference Formation
Centrally Planned Economy
Class and Politics
Class Consciousness, Envy, and Conflict
Common Goods
Consumer Society
Democracies, Advanced Industrial
Development, Economic
Development, Political Economy of
Development Administration
Economic Development, State-led
Foreign Direct Investment
Free Trade
Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem
International Political Economy
New Institutionalism
Newly Industrializing Countries (NIC)
Nontariff Barriers to Trade
Numeraire and Dollarization
Political Economy
Postindustrial Society
Protectionism and Tariffs
State Capitalism
Stolper-Samuelson Theorem
Trade Blocs
Trade Diplomacy

Political Parties Essay Topics

Christian Democratic Parties
Confessional Parties
Conservative Parties
Parties in Democratic Theory
Political Parties in Emerging Democracies
Ethnic Parties
Fascist Parties
Feminist Parties
Freezing of Party Alternatives
Fringe Parties
Green Parties
Liberal Parties
Machine Politics
Marxist Parties
Nationalist Parties
One-party Systems
Opposition Politics
Party and Social Structure
Party Discipline
Party Finance
Party Identification
Party Law
Party Membership
Party Organization
Political Parties
Programmatic Party

Political Science Essay TopicsThere are large areas of political life and culture not covered or explained by political theory. These include the imponderable and unpredictable dilemmas, the problems and paradoxes, that make the study of politics a formidable undertaking. It is the task of political scientists in the twenty-first century to deal with these problems. Among them are:

  1. Problem 1. Why does it appear that injustice persists even under the best legal systems and in the best governed nations and under the best constitutions? Do the foibles and frailties of human nature—including corruption, scandals, and blunders—make the quality of any political system no better than the quality of its politicians?
  2. Problem 2. From whence comes the force of the status quo and inertia in political evolution, the almost pathological resistance to change in human nature?
  3. Problem 3. Is it power alone that corrupts, or does powerlessness corrupt just as much?
  4. Problem 4. Why does politics, like religion, seem to be a source of disunity as much or even more than of unity, and why are divisions in democracies perhaps even more prevalent than under other political systems?
  5. Problem 6. Do the Eurocentric assumptions of political science about political beliefs and behavior, such as theories about sovereignty, nationalism, and political ethics, have relevance in the Third World, or do they actually contribute to failed and rogue states like Somalia in Africa and Afghanistan in the Middle East?
  6. Problem 7. Why do class and ethnic groups radically diverge on their political ideologies and philosophical stances despite sharing a common political system? As Gilbert and Sullivan famously said, “Why are some men born Tory and others born Whig?”
  7. Problem 8. How are conventional notions of civil rights, citizenship, and nationality scrambled and reassembled in the presence of large groups of undocumented immigrants in industrialized countries?

As in all social sciences, there are no absolutes in political science. Every political system, every form of government, and every method of determining the popular will ever devised by man is flawed—some more than others. In Plato’s philosophy, all forms of government are only shadows of the ultimate ideal government in the unseen realm. The task of the political scientist is to bridge the gap between the shadows and the ideal.

Political science is not merely an academic discipline, and political scientists do not just study the anatomy of politics. Political science is renewed with every political administration and with every major political event and with every political leader. Influential political leaders construct their own -isms (Fidelism/Castroism, Maoism, Gandhism, Reaganism, and so on) so that the political philosophies and ideologies that undergird the discipline have to be reinvented constantly. Further, political science is arguably so important in the scheme of human knowledge because of its normative function. As problems emerge in the body politic, political science suggests remedies, probes into causes, and provides solutions.


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