Political science has been a field of study going back as far as the 5th Century BCE when Aristotle defined the term as the study of examining the function of the state. Aristotle considered political science to be of utmost importance since it affects nearly every other human endeavor. Much of what we understand as modern political science was first posited during the European Enlightenment by philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, Voltaire, and John Locke. They wanted to know exactly what the relationships and obligations between citizens and governments was and ought to be.
The current study of political science fits under the broader category of social sciences. It is specifically related to the study of laws, government, and politics. Political scientists examine the connections between the functions of the state and the conditions that it creates. They take into account human behavior and political thinking. Political science also must take into consideration many other subjects such as economics, sociology, behaviorism, and history, as these fields all affect the role and function of the state in contemporary society.
Political science also examines trends in politics and the function of the state across geography and over time. As such, people in this field are often sought after to make predictions by collecting and studying relevant data. The hope is that political scientists can predict a crisis before it occurs and lay out the actions needed to avoid one.
There are five commonly recognized sub-disciplines of political science. These are public administration, comparative politics, political theory, public law, and international relations. Each examines the role of politics and government within these particular fields.
Many people who study political science find employment as career politicians, campaign managers, lobbyists, and political consultants. Many can also apply it to a legal profession or in business since there is a lot of cross-over in these fields as well.