The business of political scientists is political analysis. Most adults are aware of and discuss some political happenings. The political scientist, however. brings systematic training to bear on the study of politics. At its simplest, analysis is work undertaken by a trained person that requires studying a problem. issue. decision, policy, or situation by organizing the data into categories or elements and then relating these to one another.
How We Can Do Political Analysis
Basic to the analytical process is selective perception— choosing the elements or variables that are of primary significance as opposed to those of secondary importance or even irrelevant to the study. Analysis should lead to generalization. explanation, and the offering of hypotheses tor further study Scientific analysis seeks to relate two or more political phenomena (type of political leadership, for example, and effectiveness Of government decisions) with one another.
Analysis requires training and a basic knowledge of the subject matter, The determination of crucial variables and identification of non-obvious patterns, such as channels of recruitment to political leadership. the policy role of the bureaucracy, and cultural fragmentation, are analyzed most effectively by individuals who have spent a good deal of time studying these problems. Certain assumptions about which institutions and processes are the key ones serve to determine the appropriate focus of the investigation and guide the selection and ordering of one’s nations. Expectations and insights based on prior study and research are fundamental to sophisticated political analysis.