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

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

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

among which are: (1) Divine right theory. expressed and carried out. (2) Necessity or force theory. The former Soviet Union19 was the largest state in point or territory with its total land area of about 8.. two manifestations: (a) Internal or the power of the state to rule within its territory. of international law. This “body of men” is usually spoken of as “administration”.599. The Republic of Nauru has an area of about 8 square miles or 21 square kilometers. therefore. – It refers to the agency through which the will of the state is formulated. Reference has been made by advocates of this theory to the laws which Moses received at Mount Sinai. It is the smallest independent nation in the world. Origin of states. 5 . These internal and external aspects of sovereignty are not absolutely true in practice because of the development of international relations and consequently. and the nation became a state. Canada has an area of about 3.273. and (4) Sovereignty. by some great warriors who imposed their will upon the weak. (3) Paternalistic theory. It has. the family grew into a clan. but are not part of the government. (3) Government. and (4) Social contract theory. 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 attributes the origin of states to the enlargement of the family which remained under the authority of the father or mother.kilometer. – It holds that the state is of divine creation and the ruler is ordained by God to govern the people. – It maintains that states must have been created through force. There are several theories concerning the origin of states.813 square miles or about 299.955 square kilometers.970. – 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.674 square miles or about 9. then developed into a tribe which broadened into a nation.610 square miles or 22. – 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. and (b) External or the freedom of the state to carry out its activities without subjection to or control by other states. The Philippines has a total land area of about 115. By natural stages. It would fit in Rizal Park in Manila. to have freedom from foreign control. The ordinary citizens of a country are a part of the state. External sovereignty is often referred to as independence.674 square kilometers.849. This theory justifies the right of the people to revolt against a bad ruler.610 square kilometers20 which covers a surface nearly as large as Europe.

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

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. one for national affairs and the other local affairs. 22 and 2) Indirect. and a general feeling of fear and insecurity will prevail in society.(2) Consequence of absence. equality. Monarchies are further classified into: 1) Absolute monarchy or one in which the ruler rules by divine right. freedom. – Government exists to do these things which by their very nature. The need for government is so apparent that even the most primitive societies. Forms of government. and (b) Federal government or one in which the powers of government are divided between two sets of organs. had some form of it. and human dignity can never be enjoyed. and 2) Limited monarchy or one in which the ruler rules in accordance with a constitution. 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. (b) Aristocracy or one in which political power is exercised by a few privileged class which is known as an aristocracy or oligarchy. each organ being supreme within its own sphere. The United States is a federal government. (3) As to relationship between the executive and the legislative branches of the government: 7 . representative. and (c) Democracy or one in which political power is exercised by a majority of the people. It is obvious that without an organized structure of government. anarchy and disorder. 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. justice. rule of law. and values taken for granted in a free modern society such as truth. history shows. 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. progress and development will not be possible. it is better equipped to administer for the public welfare than any private individual or group of individuals.

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

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