Modern or New Political Science


Development after WWI and esp. in 1920s and 1930s. New explanation and perspectives.

Active after est. APSA and American Political Scientists at Chicago, Michigan, Princeton, Yale, etc. Then Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie Foundations etc

Departure from traditional PS, change in definition, scientific and pragmatic approach, fact laden, research oriented, logical, predictable.

Study of power not only state and govt.

Laswell – Renaissance or recovery of Classical PS



Empirical approach adopted as used in Aristotle era.

State of power, its origin, development, activities, effect and interactions – Laswell, Kaplan etc

Refined, autonomous and neutral from political subject matter. Value-neutral. Study of process between the state and society – Powell, Bentley etc

1950-60 behaviouralism applied – Charles Merriam, David Easton, Powell, Almond, Laswell, Dahl, etc

8 principles of intellectual movement

– intellectual uniformity, verification of facts, scientific method, quantification, value-free perspectives, chronological development of knowledge, use of natural sciences and interdisciplinary.

—Three aspects:

1. Political Activity – study, appraisal and explanation of actions, interactions and reactions of political activities, political sociology – state-society relations

2. Political Process – political analysis of state-society actors, Easton’s political method, system analysis and structural functionalism

3. Political Power – emphasis on power – 3 dimensions – political, economic  & ideological – attributes of national power

Since 1960s another revolution in PS – post-behaviouralism.

APSA President David Easton declared new development in PS in 1969.

Forgo novice behaviouralism and added new relevancy to meet the contemporary situation e.g. human ideals, coordination of result and quality, respect to traditional norms and values, third world realities, peace, feminism, etc

New PS emphasized on scientism and factography and sidelined eternal norms and values; no recognition to law and ethics; critics declared it as unpolitical and untheoretical. Renaissance of traditional political ideals and values.