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What are the different approaches to the study of political science?

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Political science studies political processes, institutions, and behavior to attempt to understand the political environment both in the present and historically. An approach to political science should be capable of describing what exists, explaining why it exists, and predicting what might exist in the future. Historically, however not all approaches have always done all three of these things.

For instance, Plato's approach to political science is called a Normative approach. Plato skipped the describing and explaining steps in order to spend his energy dreaming of what he thought a perfect world would be like. Many other political philosophers, including Rousseau and More, also used this approach.

As the desire to describe and explain emerged, approaches which relied on analyzing the state, its institutions, and its laws became popular. These approaches consider past and present to analyze what has been in order to determine what could be. These approaches are considered Traditional...

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