Meaning of Political Science Reduced to its simplest terms, political science is the systematic study of the state1 and government. The word “political” is derived from the Greek word polis, meaning city, or what today would be the equivalent of a sovereign state. The word “science” comes from the Latin word scire, “to know”. (1) The science of politics2, therefore, has, as its formal object, a basic knowledge and understanding of the state and of the principles and ideals which underlie its organization and activities. (2) It is primarily concerned with the association of human beings into a “body politic”, or a political community (one organized under government and law). (3) As such, it deals with those relations among men and groups which are subject to control by the state, with the relations of men and groups to the state itself, and with the relations of the state to other states. 3

Scope of Political Science Political Science is a very comprehensive field. Its curriculum is almost certain to include courses in political theory, public law, and public administration as well as in various more specialized subjects. 4 (1) Political theory. – The entire body of doctrine relating to the origin, form, behavior, and purposes of the state are dealt with in the study of this subject. (2) Public law. – The (a) organizations of governments, (b) the limitations upon government authority, (c) the powers and duties of governmental offices and officers, and (d) the obligations of one state to another are handled in the study of public law. In contradistinction to the rules of private law, which governs the relations among individuals, public law is so specialized that separate courses are offered in each of its subdivisions – constitutional law (a,b),administrative law (c), and international law (d). (3) Public administration. – In the study of public administration, attention is focused upon the methods and techniques used in the actual management of state affairs by executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. As the complexity of government activities grows, the traditional distinctions among the powers of these branches become even less clear-cut5. Today, legislative bodies have been forced to delegate greater discretion to executive officers responsible for the conduct of government policies and powers. Thus, we find many administrative agencies exercising quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial powers, i.e., powers which are legislative (see Art. VI, Sec. 1) and judicial (see Art. VIII, Sec. 1) in nature. Administrative law, already referred to, also falls within the scope of any broad study of public administration. 6 1

and he must employ 2 . and propaganda. – Geopolitics (a science concerned with the study of the influences of physical factors such as population pressures. The political scientist regularly adopts an “economic approach” when seeking to interpret such matters as “public financial policies” and government regulation of business. and consumption of wealth) were coupled inter the name “political economy”. development. political science and economics (the study of the production. and conservation. social. The political scientist considers the branch of philosophy called ethics. these fields are jointly concerned with the fact that economic conditions affect the organization.. Aristotle and Locke (and other universal thinkers about the state) are important to the specialist in academic philosophy and also to the political scientist. The political scientist frequently adopts a “historical approach” and employs the knowledge of the past when he seeks to interpret present and probable developments in political phenomena. (3) Geography. – The bond between the political scientist and the historian is obvious in the observation that “history is past politics and politics present history”. and activities of states. (6) Philosophy. and the rise of authoritarian governments in developing countries. (1) History. and with the patterns of collective human behavior. the sociologist (who specializes in the study of “society as a whole”). pressure groups. too. These concepts are the underlying forces in the framing of constitutions and laws. (2) Economics.Interrelationship with other branches of learning. – The political theorist must possess a broad scientific background and knowledge of current political problems. sources of raw materials. (4) Sociology and anthropology. and the anthropologist (who studies “mankind” in relation to physical. 7 Today. which in turn modify or even prescribe economic conditions. – Until late in the 19th century. – The concepts and doctrines of Plato. No precise and definitive boundaries can be placed around a subject as comprehensive as political science. geography. etc. It shares many points of common interest with other social disciplines. (5) Psychology. when he contemplates the moral background of proposed changes in social legislation. (7) Statistics and logic. One of the many topics which the political scientist handles from a “psychological approach” is that of public opinion. – The political scientist. – The political scientist as well as the psychologist promotes studies of the mental and emotional processes motivating the political behavior of individuals and groups. with the abiding influences of race and culture upon society. upon domestic and foreign politics) indicates one approach which a political scientist frequently must adopt to help explain such phenomena as the early growth of democracy in Great Britain and the United States and its retarded growth in certain Continental Europe. distribution. and cultural development) are all deeply concerned with the origins and nature of social control and governmental authority.

– This branch of public law is concerned with the analysis of existing legal systems and also with the ethical. Such shop-worn adjectives as “practical” and “cultural” have no relevance here. and the foreign service (though vitally important) is secondary to the task of equipping them to discharge the obligations of democratic citizenship. The preparation of students for careers in politics. 12 Goal in study of political science courses. To maintain a full understanding of the facts of political life. law. it should be made clear that the primary objective of the political science curriculum is education for citizenship. – Most political science courses should be viewed as essential parts of liberal education. the political scientist has to combine the legal with the extra-legal viewpoints. the civil service. they may be of immense practical use to individuals who seek to understand that state in which they live. vocational)? (1) Education for citizenship. 3 . Intelligent. (3) The study of political science deals also with problems of social welfare. historical.. effective within their jurisdictions. (1) The function of political science is to discover the principles that should be adhered to in public affairs and to study the operations of government in order to demonstrate what is good. – In answer. in later life? Will it help in getting a job – in “getting ahead”? Are political science courses “practical” (i. and a wide range of other matters that are urgent concern to public officials and to private citizens. (2) Essential parts of liberal education. 9 A comprehension of the nature of law) whether the “natural law” or the “divine law”) and of statues enacted by legislatures is indispensable to the political theorist. to criticize what bad or inefficient. 8 (8) Jurisprudence. Why should the university or college student study political science? What good will it do him or her. bearing no materialistic price tag and promising no job security. which grows constantly heavier in the modern world. responsible citizenship can save democracy. sociological. governmental economic programs. and judges who need models or norms that can be applied to immediate situations.e. legislators. ignorance and negligence can lose it. Again. and enforce them through a system of penalties or sanctions. 10 Law and state are inseparable.scientific methods in gathering and evaluating data and in drawing conclusions. international cooperation. These involve a proper application of statistical procedures for the quantitative measurement of social phenomena and of logical procedures for the analysis of reasoning. All states proclaim laws. teaching. and psychological foundations of law. and to suggest improvements. 11 Function and importance of political science. executives. (2) Its findings and conclusions may be of immense practical use to constitution-markers.

(Aerial domain). a certain area of the sea which abuts upon its coasts (fluvial and maritime domain).”eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.614 as of August 1.000. 15 Reputedly the smallest state in point of population is the Vatican.17 square mile or 0. Its estimated 900 citizens. He must know how his government really operates. fluvial. and aerial. maritime. having a government of their own to which the great body of inhabitants render obedience. 14 The Philippines is a state. Thus the domain of the state may be described as terrestrial. The Philippines is estimated to have a population of about 88. – This refers to the inhabitants living within the state. mainly clerics and some Swiss guards. Elements of state. what the results of such policies are likely to be. what his rights and obligations are. what they stand for. Without people there can be no functionaries to govern and no subjects to be governed. 18 composed mostly of Malays and Chinese. The smallest state in point of territory is Vatican. it should be neither too small nor too large: small enough to be wellgoverned and large enough to be self-sufficing.Democracy has practical advantages which no one can appraise in monetary terms. and the air space above the land and the waters. – It includes not only the fixed portion of land over which the jurisdiction of the state extends (territorial domain).44 square 4 . 2007. and understanding of the complexities of modern government and politics are necessary as eternal vigilance. 13 B.480. permanently occupying a definite portion of territory. There is no requirement as to the number of people that should compose a state. but also the rivers and lakes therein. They are: (1) People. and enjoying freedom from external control. (3) Knowledge as understanding of government. 16 The island Republic of Nauru17 has a total population of only about 9. Study.574. (2) Territory. The modern state has four (4) essential elements. information.314. A state is a community of persons more or less numerous. – Political science seeks to gather and impart this knowledge and understanding. who his elected representatives are. are ruled by Pope. Just how much is freedom worth? The oft-repeated but seldom comprehended quotation.” requires amendment.000 at the end of 2006 according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. The “good” citizen who behaves himself and votes regularly is no longer enough. CONCEPTS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT Meaning of state. located just outside the western boundary of Rome with an area of only 0. Ideally. China is the largest in point of population placed at 1. what interests and forces are behind particular policies.

(2) Necessity or force theory. – The term may be defined as the supreme power of the state to command and enforce obedience to its will from people within its jurisdiction and corollarily. – It holds that the state is of divine creation and the ruler is ordained by God to govern the people. It would fit in Rizal Park in Manila. Canada has an area of about 3.. The ordinary citizens of a country are a part of the state. of international law. These internal and external aspects of sovereignty are not absolutely true in practice because of the development of international relations and consequently. The Republic of Nauru has an area of about 8 square miles or 21 square kilometers. to have freedom from foreign control. and the nation became a state. It is the smallest independent nation in the world. expressed and carried out. By natural stages.955 square kilometers. This “body of men” is usually spoken of as “administration”. The word is sometimes used to refer to the person or aggregate of those persons in whose hands are placed for the time being the function of political control. – It maintains that states must have been created through force. two manifestations: (a) Internal or the power of the state to rule within its territory. This theory justifies the right of the people to revolt against a bad ruler.970.610 square kilometers20 which covers a surface nearly as large as Europe. and (4) Social contract theory. (3) Government. The Philippines has a total land area of about 115.273.849. among which are: (1) Divine right theory. – It asserts that the early states must have been formed by deliberate and voluntary compact among the people to form a society and organize government for their common good. It has. by some great warriors who imposed their will upon the weak. – It refers to the agency through which the will of the state is formulated. the family grew into a clan. but are not part of the government. (3) Paternalistic theory. therefore. – It attributes the origin of states to the enlargement of the family which remained under the authority of the father or mother.kilometer. and (4) Sovereignty. and (b) External or the freedom of the state to carry out its activities without subjection to or control by other states. Origin of states. then developed into a tribe which broadened into a nation. External sovereignty is often referred to as independence.813 square miles or about 299. 5 .674 square kilometers.599.610 square miles or 22. There are several theories concerning the origin of states. The former Soviet Union19 was the largest state in point or territory with its total land area of about 8.674 square miles or about 9. Reference has been made by advocates of this theory to the laws which Moses received at Mount Sinai.

History. The government is only the agency through which the states articulate its will.It is not known exactly which of the above theories is the correct one. State distinguished from government. (ministrant functions) 6 . the former is meant when the latter is mentioned. the acts of the government (within the limits of the delegation of powers) are the acts of the state. the Arab nation is divided politically into several sovereign states. has shown that the elements of all the theories have played an important part in the formation and development of states. (1) The state is a political concept. Thus. Among them are: Egypt. they are usually regarded as identical. the preservation of the state from external danger. we had various governments at different periods of our history. the latter is the principal. The term is more strictly synonymous with “people”. Nation should not also be confused with state as they are not the same. The Constitution uses them interchangeably. remains the same. the administration of justice. Jordan. and who believe that they are one and distinct from others. Syria. (4) In common usage. The Philippines is a state composed of one nation. As ordinarily. – Government exists and should continue to exist for the benefit of the people governed. as long as its elements are present. however. while nation is an ethnic concept. a single nation may be made up of several states. language. but it is possible to have a government without a state. A government may change. It is necessary for (a) the protection of society and its members. economic. customs. from pre-Spanish times to the present. The United States is a melting pot of several nationalities. (1) Advancement of the public welfare. social. and traditions. and (3) A single state may consist of one or more nations or peoples and conversely. and cultural well0being of the people. and others. the two terms are often used synonymously. The former is the agent. In common speech. Purpose and necessity of government. however. A nation is a group of people bound together by certain characteristics such as common social origin. dealings of the state with foreign powers (constituent functions) and (b) the advancement of the physical. the security of persons and property. Saudi Arabia. and vice versa. Lebanon. its form may change. but the state. States distinguished from nation. There was no Philippine state during those periods when we were under foreign domination. A state cannot exist without a government. On the other hand. (2) A state is not subject to external control while nation may or may not be independent of external control.

(b) Aristocracy or one in which political power is exercised by a few privileged class which is known as an aristocracy or oligarchy. and (c) Democracy or one in which political power is exercised by a majority of the people. The need for government is so apparent that even the most primitive societies. rule of law. it is better equipped to administer for the public welfare than any private individual or group of individuals. The United States is a federal government. (3) As to relationship between the executive and the legislative branches of the government: 7 . 22 and 2) Indirect. It is obvious that without an organized structure of government. – Government exists to do these things which by their very nature. and a general feeling of fear and insecurity will prevail in society. and human dignity can never be enjoyed. and 2) Limited monarchy or one in which the ruler rules in accordance with a constitution. The principal forms are the following: (1) As to number of persons exercising sovereign powers: (a) Monarchy or one in which the supreme and final authority is in the hands of a single person without regard to the source of his election of the nature or duration of his tenure. had some form of it. each organ being supreme within its own sphere. 21 Democratic governments are further classified into: 1) Direct or pure democracy or one in which the will of the state is formulated or expressed directly and immediately through the people in a mass meeting or primary assembly rather through the medium of delegates or representatives chosen to act for them. justice. progress and development will not be possible. equality.(2) Consequence of absence. 23 (2) As to extent of powers exercised by the central or national government: (a) Unitary government or one in which the control of national and local affairs is exercised by the central or national government. and (b) Federal government or one in which the powers of government are divided between two sets of organs. or republican democracy or one in which the will of the state is formulated and expressed through the agency of a relatively small and select body of persons chosen by the people to act as their representatives. Monarchies are further classified into: 1) Absolute monarchy or one in which the ruler rules by divine right. history shows. anarchy and disorder. freedom. Forms of government. one for national affairs and the other local affairs. and values taken for granted in a free modern society such as truth. representative.

(2) Datu. the barangay was monarchy with the datu as the monarch. Under this system. He was its chief executive. At times. and military head. 8 .32. named after balangay. executive power is vested in the President and the Cabinet.(a) Parliamentary government or one in which the state confers upon the legislature the power to terminate the tenure of office of the real executive. wealth. In the performance of his duties. a unitary and presidential government with separation of powers. Sec. and furnishes him with sufficient powers to prevent the legislature from trenching upon the sphere marked out by the constitution as executive independence and prerogative. – Prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. (3) Social classes in barangay. the serfs (aliping namamahay). it can be said that the Philippine government is a representative democracy. (1) Unit of government. a Malayan word meaning “boat” (thereby confirming the theory that the early Filipinos came to the Philippines in boats). THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES IN TRANSITION The pre-Spanish government. 25 C. the constitutional provision on initiative and referendum. the Philippines was composed settlements or villages. law-giver. each called barangay (consisting of more of less 100 families).) Under our Constitution. One could be a datu chiefly by inheritance. wisdom. VI. Classification of the Philippine Government On the basis of the above classifications of government. however. – Each barangay was ruled by a chief called datu in some places. for instance. the Cabinet or ministry is immediately and legally responsible to the legislature and immediately or politically responsible to the electorate. sultan or hadji in others. and judicial power with the Supreme Court and the lower courts. the freemen (timawa). he was assisted usually by a council of elders (maginoos) which served as his advisers. while the titular or nominal executive – the Chief of State – occupies a position of irresponsibility. for the purpose of mutual protection against common enemies. In form. some barangays joined together as “confederations” mainly. for it possessed four basic elements of statehood. and the slaves (aliping sagigilid). 26 Every barangay was virtually a state. and (b) Presidential government or in one in which the state makes the executive constitutionally independent of the legislature as regards his tenure and to a large extent as regards his policies and acts. chief judge. (see Art. It also embodies some aspects of pure democracy such as. however. legislative power with the Congress composed of a Senate and a House of Representatives. or physical prowess. and rajah. namely: the nobility (maharlika). to which the datu belonged. – The people of the barangay were divided into four classes.

and the towns into provinces. which. as that of the nations then at the head of civilization. each headed by a governor who represented the Governor General in the province.D. (5) Comparison with older ancient governments. – A legal system already existed in the Philippines even in precolonial times. The council in Spain responsible for the administration of the Philippines was the Council of the Indie. until it was terminated in 1898. (1) Spain’s title to the Philippines.” 27 Government during the Spanish period. (2) Spanish colonial government. taking into consideration the circumferences and the epoch in which it was framed. when Mexico obtained her independence from Spain. The system of government. to 1898. – It was based on the discovery28 made by Ferdinand Magellan29. consummated by its conquest by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi 45 years later and long possession for almost 4 centuries. and as humane. 1820 – 1823. – From 1565 to 1821. The early Filipinos had both written and unwritten laws. The written laws were promulgated by the datus. even in the prehistoric times had already shown high intelligence and moral virtues. the Philippines was indirectly governed by the King of Spain through Mexico because of the distance of the Philippines from Spain. also of Panay. – It can be said that the laws of the barangay were generally fair. the Ministry of Ultramar (colonies) exercised general powers of supervision over Philippine affairs. as prudent. and the “Kalantiaw Code”. the Philippines was ceded by Spain to the United States. the Philippines was ruled directly from Spain. (3) Government in the Philippines unitary. A basic principle introduced by Spain to the Philippines was the union of the church and the state. The two known written codes in the pre-Spanish era are the “Maragtas Code” which was said to have been written about 1250 A.(4) Early laws. – The government which Spain established in the Philippines was centralized in structure and national in scope. From 1863. From 1821. when by the Treaty of Paris. was clearly as wise. in 1521. popularly called capitan. The unwritten laws consisted of customs and traditions which had been passed down from generations to generation. the legislative body of Spain. In 1837. The barangays were consolidated into towns (pueblos) each headed by a gobernadorcillo (little governor). it was abolished and legislation for the Philippines was temporarily performed by the Council of Ministers. although defective was not so bad considering the conditions in other lands in the age during which it flourished. An eminent scholar has written: “The Filipino people. and 1836 – 1837). Three times during the Spanish period (1810 – 1813. virtues and intelligence clearly manifested in their legislation. 30 (4) 9 . the Philippines was given representation in the Spanish Cortes. by Datu Sumakwel of Panay.

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