22.03.2017

Political Science

Political Science/JYU on Facebook

Political science is a classical discipline that deals with the study of political phenomena. Its goal is to deepen human understanding of the forms and nature of political action and to develop theoretical tools for interpreting politically meaningful phenomena.

The discipline deals with the traditional fields of public national life, such as democracy, parliaments, politicians, elections and the government. However, modern politology is not limited to what takes place at the level of the state.

Jyväskylä political science proceeds from the view that essentially politology means taking a political perspective on any aspect of human life. Anything can have a political quality related with power, identity, or goals of action. Thus, e.g., art, culture, morals, language, names, concepts, etc. can be understood as containing important political properties.

Political science is a characteristically international discipline. Modern Jyväskylä politology is not divided into separate research fields of national and international politics, because politically meaningful phenomena are not restrained by national boundaries. When studying any phenomenon, it is essential to be able to have an international perspective on it, and preferably to understand it in different languages. World politics in Jyväskylä is thus not a separate discipline, but an aspect of political science.

Political science as a specialization of studies

Specialization in political science increases understanding of political phenomena, accustoms people to see things in an international perspective, and encourages political action. It is based on the distinct Jyväskylä style of politology. It deals with traditional fields of political inquiry, such as politicians, power, political system, etc.

However, in Jyväskylä we also have emphasized that any phenomenon can have a political aspect, so that for example art, language, history or gender can be understood politically. This kind of understanding can be cultivated by acquainting oneself with classical political theory, good specimens of modern political theory, and political culture of various countries.

A majority of political acts are speech acts. Politics is mostly conducted rhetorically by shaping names, concepts and the structure of argumentation. Understanding political communication and culture, in various languages, is thus essential.

Both teachers and students of political science move a lot internationally, both physically and intellectually, which highlights the importance of good linguistic skills. It is possible to pass through the studies in Finnish and English, but usually those specializing in politology acquire skills also in other Nordic languages, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, or some rarer languages.   

Those who have studied political science have found employment in national and international environments. Some alumni are nationally visible in parliamentary politics, but many more people have located themselves at the European Union, state, provincial and communal levels of administration, both in Finland and abroad.

Furthermore, many other types of occupations are open to them, such as research, adult education, various media and public relations jobs, national and international organizations, as well as cultural entities. They work also in private enterprises as analysts or content creators.

Those who have studied political science cannot easily be replaced with robots. They are flexible generalists. In their work constant learning, understanding of complex relationships, ability to comprehend different perspectives, and deep empathy for human conduct is needed. Studying political science develops competences for all that.

Political Science staff