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What is the difference between political science and politics?

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kuyu | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 21, 2011 at 5:12 AM via web

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What is the difference between political science and politics?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 21, 2011 at 5:17 AM (Answer #1)

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The main difference between these two things is that politics is something that happens in the real world and political science is the study of that thing.  In other words, political science is the study of politics.

When we are talking about government (as opposed to something like politics within a workplace), politics is the process by which people try to influence their government and the process by which the government decides which policies will be enacted.  These are activities that go on every day at multiple levels of government.

By contrast, political science is an academic discipline.  It is the study of politics, not the actual political process.

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