Proposal: Politics

I think the term political science would be better and would be geographically and culturally diverse and would also cover the entire systems that govern people both theoretically and practically

  • politics, applied political theory, is a subset of political science
    – user70547
    May 6 '13 at 0:47

But it is also a bit more specific. Politics is not political science. Is this group for discussing things like electoral systems or Congressional rules? Or is it for discussing the practical implications of those things. I think that if it were entitled political science, would be followers would feel like they couldn't contribute or benefit to that sort of a discussion. I don't think the term politics has the same 'stigma'.

  • 1
    But I believe political science is a much broader term and the discussion may be more focused on how things should be rather than how things are. Also, you can encompass a lot more things under the political science umbrella such as the state, emergency, bureaucracy, state impetus to priority sectors and more that could attract people from other disciplines also since most people, irrespective of their country, seem to be disinclined towards politics and consider voting as the singular participation of the common citizen
    – Ubermensch
    Jan 20 '12 at 4:25
  • 1
    Aye. But my point is that there is a body of literature concerning political science. Most people can't cite theories of the state, bureaucracy, or welfare programs. By calling this stack a political science stack, it inherently attaches itself to political science as an academic discipline.
    – Adam
    Jan 20 '12 at 5:06
  • 4
    Right and that's where I exactly stand. Most people are ignorant about how the State functions because they look at it from the view of themselves and politicians but its not the case (else everybody would be a political leader) and you would most probably agree since you are a political science graduate. In my view, mixing academics with common politics would make people's understanding of the state and how new states are born and grown. Keeping the topic strictly to politics, may just turn it into a huge venting space for frustration
    – Ubermensch
    Jan 20 '12 at 5:29
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    I agree with you on the goals but I'm not sure that renaming it from politics to political science accomplishes those goals. That said, I'm not sure the name politics does either. So I'm open!
    – Adam
    Jan 20 '12 at 23:34
  • 2
    @Ubermensch is right imo, political science will psychologically make the site more inline with the expert approach of the stack network. Amateurs can contribute just like other site, but I think if you had the "science" in there it would be less inflammatory.
    – ihtkwot
    Mar 1 '12 at 4:28

I, too, prefer the term Politics over Political Science. Political Science ideally abstracts policy and personality, focusing strictly on process. Politics is where the rubber of Political Science literally hits the roads of (Insert Country Here). Politics is far more practical.

I suspect, however, the concern is in describing "What is Politics?" in order to determine what is and is not on-topic. I want to broach the following as a definition of politics. (These are my words, so no cite is needed):

Politics is the end result of conflicting egos working themselves out over matters of policy.

Using this definition would allow the following to be on-topic:

  1. Matters of policy:

    As any policy wonk will tell you, the details of any piece of legislation matter. They may not be political science, but they matter. Discussing the merits of, for example, whether employer-based or single-payer systems has real impact on legislation, lives, and debates. While this site won't be looking for the debate, I would assume that posts asking for the merits and demerits of policy approaches would be on-topic. Here, multiple, competing answers (such as on Christianity.SE) will tend to reward substantive rather than polemic answers. This is not to say there will be no polemics - but with only a modicum of moderation, the truly insightful posts will tend to rise to the top.

  2. Working themselves out:

    The rules of political science are important. How are votes counted? Can rank order preferences be taken into account? What institutional prerogatives touch this issue? Are there historical precedents for this? All of these questions are fully on topic, because the process is often as important as the result.

  3. Conflicting egos:

    Personalities matter, but for purposes of this site, I suspect will become less interesting over time than process and policy. Factually discussing the relevant personalities is tricky, but a solid neutral point of view will keep things factual and constructive. (e.g., "President X is jerk" helps no one, but "President X is not well regarded by the community of Y, and will thus hamper Policy Z's chance of passage" is exactly the kind of analysis that political junkies love to make and read.)

If any question can be tied to one of these three points, I'd suggest you have an on-topic question ready for an expert answer.

  • Good answer mate. Would also add economic decision, civic duties and national conflicts to this list.
    – Ubermensch
    Mar 23 '12 at 15:16
  • @Ubermensch I think the things you listed are manifestations of the policies and things being worked out as defined by the rules above. In other words, the rules above are abstract, while yours are concrete.
    – corsiKa
    Nov 20 '12 at 21:44

While I don't necessarily believe we need to rename this proposal to Political Science, I'm going to note that the current top 5 upvoted questions are political science questions. Not only that, political science deals with both the theoretical as well as the practical side of politics.

While it would suggest academic discussion, you can't have good political science discourse without application. I also disagree that the scope of political science is narrower rather than wider of the admittedly nebulous "Politics" due to this fact.


While I agree that Political Science is a LOT more specific, I do think it would also give the impression that it's a politics discussion board for theory, application, or history as opposed to political position.

The naming convention if adopted as Poli-Sci as opposed to Politics would relate to the other issue of it turning into a discussion board with voting based on position as opposed to merit.


"Political Science" suggests that this is only for academic discussions about political process, while this proposal has a healthy dose of applied questions about real-world applications. I'm going to let this proposal run it's course with the wider scope of "Politics."

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