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

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

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

permanently occupying a definite portion of territory. 14 The Philippines is a state. and aerial. what they stand for. A state is a community of persons more or less numerous.000 at the end of 2006 according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. 2007. information. are ruled by Pope. what his rights and obligations are. Thus the domain of the state may be described as terrestrial. Without people there can be no functionaries to govern and no subjects to be governed. but also the rivers and lakes therein. He must know how his government really operates. Ideally. The modern state has four (4) essential elements. and the air space above the land and the waters. – This refers to the inhabitants living within the state. Its estimated 900 citizens. what interests and forces are behind particular policies.480. 18 composed mostly of Malays and Chinese. China is the largest in point of population placed at 1. There is no requirement as to the number of people that should compose a state. The “good” citizen who behaves himself and votes regularly is no longer enough.17 square mile or 0. (2) Territory. what the results of such policies are likely to be.Democracy has practical advantages which no one can appraise in monetary terms. 16 The island Republic of Nauru17 has a total population of only about 9. maritime. Study. The Philippines is estimated to have a population of about 88. Just how much is freedom worth? The oft-repeated but seldom comprehended quotation. mainly clerics and some Swiss guards.”eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.44 square 4 . 15 Reputedly the smallest state in point of population is the Vatican. They are: (1) People. and understanding of the complexities of modern government and politics are necessary as eternal vigilance. (Aerial domain). having a government of their own to which the great body of inhabitants render obedience. who his elected representatives are. CONCEPTS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT Meaning of state.574.614 as of August 1.000. (3) Knowledge as understanding of government. The smallest state in point of territory is Vatican.” requires amendment. fluvial. located just outside the western boundary of Rome with an area of only 0. and enjoying freedom from external control. Elements of state. it should be neither too small nor too large: small enough to be wellgoverned and large enough to be self-sufficing. 13 B. a certain area of the sea which abuts upon its coasts (fluvial and maritime domain). – Political science seeks to gather and impart this knowledge and understanding. – It includes not only the fixed portion of land over which the jurisdiction of the state extends (territorial domain).314.

This theory justifies the right of the people to revolt against a bad ruler. Reference has been made by advocates of this theory to the laws which Moses received at Mount Sinai. therefore. – 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. The former Soviet Union19 was the largest state in point or territory with its total land area of about 8. The ordinary citizens of a country are a part of the state. – It attributes the origin of states to the enlargement of the family which remained under the authority of the father or mother.610 square miles or 22.970.599.. It would fit in Rizal Park in Manila. There are several theories concerning the origin of states.849.674 square kilometers. This “body of men” is usually spoken of as “administration”. – 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 the nation became a state. – It refers to the agency through which the will of the state is formulated. and (4) Sovereignty.813 square miles or about 299. Canada has an area of about 3.674 square miles or about 9. These internal and external aspects of sovereignty are not absolutely true in practice because of the development of international relations and consequently. It has. It is the smallest independent nation in the world.955 square kilometers.610 square kilometers20 which covers a surface nearly as large as Europe. the family grew into a clan. by some great warriors who imposed their will upon the weak.273. 5 . Origin of states. but are not part of the government. 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. to have freedom from foreign control. By natural stages. The Republic of Nauru has an area of about 8 square miles or 21 square kilometers. then developed into a tribe which broadened into a nation. and (4) Social contract theory. (3) Paternalistic theory. (2) Necessity or force theory. External sovereignty is often referred to as independence.kilometer. – It maintains that states must have been created through force. and (b) External or the freedom of the state to carry out its activities without subjection to or control by other states. among which are: (1) Divine right theory. expressed and carried out. two manifestations: (a) Internal or the power of the state to rule within its territory. The Philippines has a total land area of about 115. (3) Government. – It holds that the state is of divine creation and the ruler is ordained by God to govern the people. of international law.

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

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

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

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