What is Political Theory?

Political theory is made up of two words “politics” and “theory.” The meaning of politics is related to “Power”.

According to “Political Science Dictionary” What Political Theory is? – “Political subject is the hypothesis and what is politics”– Its science, knowledge related to politics, the study, analysis and process of political activities, results, determination of policies etc. Political Theory is related to what will be the political conduct and behavior.

According to David Held, “Political life is a system of concepts and generalizations consisting of ideas, fantasies and statements about the nature, purpose and main features of government, state and society, and the political capabilities of human beings.”

Quick Facts about Political Theory

  • Political theory is all about politics.
  • Political theory is the actual and systematic study of political behavior, representing it in symbolic forms and whatever is not “political.”
  • It is an essential part of Political Science.

What is the Theory?

The word “theory” is derived from the Greek word “theoria”, which means “that focused mental vision obtained in the state of thinking with a view to understanding, which reveals the existence and cause of the object or subject concerned.”

The facts, explanation, concept, value judgement and goals, policies and basic reasons are described.

The theory is a combined set of characteristics of both science and philosophy. Before doing any work, it is considered. Therefore, the theory is not an explanation because even an explanation is only a part of thinking.

The theory cannot even be considered a complete philosophy because the field of philosophy is vast. If it is complete, then the theory is the partial part, the conclusions obtained by the observation or testing are being regularised forever, and those theories do not need to be revisited, supervised or verified.

Kohne wrote – “The word theory is like a blank cheque, whose potential value depends on the user and his use.”

The theory is thinking about the idea, not the complete idea itself. In general, the theory is the guide, presenting a detailed description and clarifying the statement.  

Political Theory – Implications

Before Understanding political theory, it must also be understood as a theory, science and philosophy. Political theory tells us about a political event, what is happening in that particular event, and why that event happened.

Observing them helps to know when and how such events can happen in the future. At the same time, there is also a means to open various political options to us. When political theory successfully performs its function, it becomes an essential tool for the development of humanity.

Significance of Political Theory

  1. The scope of political theory extends to citizen’s political life, political thought, and political behavior.
  2. Methods of description, critique and discovery of political events.
  3. What is politics? Attempt to explain it in relation to social, economic, moral, psychological etc.
  4. The goal of achieving political theory is to build a good state in a good society.
  5. Political theory, along with explaining, observing, analysing and forecasting various political events, also presents various suggestions according to human behavior.

Why should be study Political Theory?

Political theory is not a simple but an extensive exercise to make a mature, better and developed world of politics.

Caitlin explains its importance: “The maturity of any science is determined by the uniformity and state of abstraction of its general principle.”

The growth of any science depends on the development of both “empirical research” and “theory” and the close relationship between them. No philosophy or science can take the place of political theory in the presentation. 

Political science can be considered a systematic science only after proper theory formation. This scripture is not a study but a process of practice, which is intelligent.

Political theory as a philosophy will try to find the truth in every situation and will eventually find that truth as a science.

Benefits of studying political theory

The following are the benefits of studying political theory:

  • (i) Knowledge of political activities – It is only through the formulation and study of the theory that what and why political activities are taking place.
  • (ii) Ability to predict –Bloom” has written that “Political theory provides a tool for making political choices as well as evaluating what is happening. It is beneficial not only for the conduct of politics but also for political studies.
  • (iii) Means of understanding the environment – ​​In the absence of a political theory, one cannot understand its moral or social environment. Through this, accurate, reliable and accumulating knowledge of the world can be attained.
  • (iv) Important from an educational point of view – Where it is beneficial in telling, analysing, solving political problems etc., from the practical point of view, the shortcomings of democracy and socialism etc., do.

Thus, political theory is as essential as any science.

Functions of Political Theory

The utility of a political theory is what makes it essential. Political science without theory is crippling and incomplete. The essential functions of political theory can be described as follows:

  • (i) In developing a scientific attitude – Political theory can increase research possibilities in political science by bringing integration, coherence, predictability and scientificity to it. No science can develop without theory.
  • (ii) To create predictive Power – It helps verify previous research’s conclusions. Through this, new areas are discovered. New generalizations, methods and theories are achieved. Thus, it allows political scientists to make predictions based on a comparison of research results.
  • (iii) To guide – Political theory presents conceptual ideas. This form is guided by inspiring fact collection and research. This principle selects or excludes observed facts. Political theory gives directions like a guide.
  • (iv) Establishing dynamic balance in the political field – Political theory can establish a dynamic balance between various political facts and events, methods of study and human values, institutions and policies. It also plays a unique role in gaining knowledge of political reality, as the theory develops the elements of uniformity, coherence and consistency in the discipline.
  • (v) Necessary for the political progress of society – Political theory makes a notable contribution to the progressive growth of human beings’ political, constitutional and constitutional progress. This theory is constructive in studying new facts by summarising the innumerable experiences of human beings, forecasting future problems and solving them correctly.

Political theory, as philosophy, goes beyond the reach of science. Along with knowing the present, its study is also about knowing for whom the present exists. It has to go beyond the present into the realm of the future.

Karl Diess has also described the function of theory, writing that one of the crucial functions of theory is to organize knowledge in such a way that it can be preserved, it can be revived, and by reasoning beyond the basic basis of material and experience. Be able to make definite predictions.

Due to completing the tasks mentioned above, the utility of a theory is increasing continuously in political science. Political theory is reflective and a thoughtful inquiry into the understanding of human existence.

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