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A Study of The Relation Between Political Knowledge and Political Science

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Defining Political Science and Political Knowledge
  3. Understanding Political Science and Political Knowledge
  4. Conclusion


A majority believe the saying that slight knowledge is quite a risky matter, still does it hold in politics like in life? A study carried out to find the impacts of expanding voter’s political knowledge on their support for various political parties’ affiliation (Weisberg (5).The research finds that knowledgeable citizens are more likely to lack the idea of their party’s stand; therefore providing individuals with information regarding a political party’s stand is likely to strengthen the party by a significant margin. A number of scholars and political analysists critique eligible voter’s lack of political knowledge; this may be due to a number of valid reasons. Understanding how political science and political knowledge relate is thus significant.

Defining Political Science and Political Knowledge

Different studies and theorists have provided political science and political knowledge, without consensus definitions regarding different terms used in political studies. Political science is a branch of social sciences. Robbins (358) defines politics as a process in which influence and power are applied to promote particular interests and values. Further, White and Moon (81) consider it to be the competition over values in spheres that are not justly public, including the office and family politics.

Moreover, Weisberg (5) considers political science as the assessment, prediction, and explanation of political behavior, political systems, and politics as a whole. Goodin (16) defines political science as a set of approaches, concepts, and techniques whose aim is to enhance the accuracy and clarity of human knowledge regarding the political sphere. Therefore, political science signifies that an effort to use scientific techniques with the aim of understanding or gaining political knowledge.

As political science covers the techniques and concepts of politics, political knowledge is the interpretation skills and factual information required to serve as an efficient member of political community or polis (Cramer and Toff 761). The common element among various theorists from Plato to Stuart Mill, political knowledge is a prerequisite for exercising citizenship or participating freely or fully in community decision making. Moreover, since contemporary democracies constitute all adult citizens, there is anticipation that they have the required skills and information.

In politics, democracy is the belief in equity and freedom between citizens or individuals or a government system founded upon such belief, through which power is held directly by the citizens themselves or elected representatives (Dahrendorf 103). To achieve functional democracy, people should have adequate political knowledge and skills to assess the performance of their leaders, to evaluate the credibility of the obligations with respect to their record in specific institutions or government.

Understanding Political Science and Political Knowledge

Although the levels of education have grown, the public’s general level of political knowledge is almost similar to the early stages of democracy. This created a challenge to many observers considering the existence of a big relationship between education levels and political knowledge. Actually, ranges in levels of political knowledge have remained consistent between various groups. More so the knowledge base of women and the marginalized is almost similar to the early fifties and sixties.

Understanding political science is very important as politics impacts nearly every face of our lives; the availability of housing, work, and healthcare are mostly influenced by politics. In addition, if nations are at war or in harmony it all dependent on the politics of the day and the government’s influence.

Political science focuses on the numerous organizations, institutions, and ways which determine how individuals consider society, and, eventually the way they behave inside it. Even though political science assists in the review of how the population chooses a certain political party, understand why policies and governments differ in various nations, or why there is a persistent conflict between particular nations or groups lack political knowledge erodes any gainful information gathered.

Many scholars have argued that poor information or lack of it has no regular impact, primarily because uninformed voters could depend on what political analysts and scientist term ‘’information shortcuts’’. The shortcuts include information such as party endorsements and labels, which assist potential voters to identify quickly with the candidate the might likely choose if they were more informed. Despite the shortcuts failing, scholars argue that none of the party would enjoy constant benefits due to errors from both parties which cancel out.

Our results suggest that a more informed electorate could significantly shape politics by changing public opinion, and by extension, influencing election results and ultimately public policy. Further, previously under-represented citizens, newly armed with political knowledge, could encourage the government to act on their preferences and achieve policy outcomes more consistent with the views of the electorate as a whole.


The question that arises is whether politics is truly a science and how politics can be analyzed scientifically or whether politics is only an art. Whereas there is art process in politics, politics consider that basic laws exist that describe political behavior and such basic laws may be identified via scientific approaches. There are four criticisms on scientific techniques applied in politics: its ‘scientists’ is not objective; its theme disregards generalization; politics cannot be true science, and its practice deters focus from normative questions.

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