Political Science Research Topics

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Alex Ponomarenko
Jul 6, 2019

Political Science is the study of the relationships between and within individuals, societies, and governments. This study encompasses politics in the local, state, national, and international levels. Political Science itself has various sub-fields, each focusing on a branch of politics. When writing a  research paper on Political Science, you have to follow the Political Science Research and Methods (PSRM), a journal that promotes the proper scientific approach when studying politics. For you to be able to adhere with the standards of PSRM, you must start with choosing the right Political Science research topic. 

A Quick Guide in Choosing the Right Political Science Research Topics

Before choosing a topic for your Political Science research paper, here are some of the things you must consider:

  • When you are to choose a political issue, avoid one sided narratives.  Be careful in choosing a political issue, see to it that the issue you chose have enough facts and context for you to have a clear comparison of the different perspectives surrounding that issue.
  • Read articles of credible political analysts before choosing a topic.  If you are interested on a topic and you want to give justice to it, it might be better to write a few article about it written by credible political analysts so you would have an idea how to write it.
  • Familiarize yourself with the different branches of Political Science.  Political Science has several branches and for you to establish the approach you will use, you must first familiarize yourself with the branches under it and choose the topic under the branch that tackles the concept you want to incorporate in your research paper. 

 Branches of Political Science

  • Political Theory  focuses on human nature and morality as it is related to politics, so it dissects the writings of various moral philosophers. The emphasis on this sub-field is on concepts, topics, and political thought.
  • Comparative Politics  is more empirical than theoretical. Its focus is to understand how and why political institutions were established, as well as find the best way to provide order, freedom, equality, and economic security to communities.
  • International Relations  studies how state and non-state international actors interact, and why. This sub-field is involved in analyzing behaviors, foreign policies, as well as international finance.
  • American Government and Politics  covers politics as it is practiced in the United States. This field focuses on policy formation, constitutional law, state politics, and American political thought, ultimately trying to infer how American politics can be improved in general.
  • Political Methodology  involves empirical research. It attempts to understand political processes and behavior through the use of statistics and other research devices. All topics under Political Science can be covered by research in Political Methodology.

Branches of Political Science

Depending on the sub-field, Political Science research papers will have different requirements from students. For instance, Political Theory research paper topics and Comparative Politics topics may require argumentative essays more often than American Government and Politics essay topics. Regardless of the topic, however, Political Science research papers all require rigor and a critical eye; in writing, it requires nothing less than clarity, conciseness, and objectivity. 

What are the components of a proficient Political Science research paper?

  • Investigative.  Although Political Science involves debates, for the most part, the foundation of a political scientist’s arguments always comes from empirical observation or data. An objective inquiring eye is expected in order to attain objective analysis of events and its underlying political principles. 
  • Data.  Research in Political Science requires rigorous data collection to support claims. Data used in research papers should be current, correct, and from credible sources if not gathered by the researcher. When it comes to data, Political Science is no different from hard sciences. Political Scientists utilize the scientific method in theory-building.
  • Theories.  Political Science students are expected to master and apply Political Science theories, but as soon as they become Political Scientists, they are expected to start with theory-building. The process of building theories involves data collection, analysis, and knowledge of older theories.
  • Concise and objective writing. The field of Political Science has a set of terminologies that is used to make discussion more concise and precise. However, there are also instances when the researcher must operationalize a term for research purposes. In this case, they must be able to define something in measurable and observable terms. Clear, objective writing is expected of Political Scientists at all instances.

Topics for Political Science Research Papers

In Political Theory

Political theory is significant in understanding the government. For a nation to prosper, the people must be able to think critically and for that to happen, people must be able to understand the reason behind the government’s actions before criticizing it. You too shall apply this concept when writing a research paper about political science. Below is a list of topics in political theory:

  1. Analysis of Plato’s The Republic
  2. Comparison of Plato and Aristotle’s political theories
  3. The evolution of Democratic thought 
  4. Foucault’s analysis of power
  5. Human nature in Hobbes' political theory
  6. Egalitarianism versus Utilitarianism
  7. Pitfalls of Rousseau’s social contract theory
  8. Analysis and application of Mill’s Harm Principle
  9. Political realism of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Morgenthau
  10. Socialism in the contemporary world

In Comparative Politics

What are the purposes in establishing political institutions? How do they help in the economic growth of the country? Are they really for the welfare of the people? Comparative politics answers these questions, so if you want your paper to focus on these aspects then here are some topics you can use:

  1. The impact of social media in political dissent
  2. Transformative potential of civil society in developing countries
  3. Comparative analysis of models of democracy
  4. Ideology in the Soviet Union 
  5. Populism within the European Union
  6. Regional governance and national governance
  7. Limits on individual liberty and government authority
  8. Political and legal antecedents to Affirmative Action
  9. Ethnic conflict and the destabilization of states 
  10. Politics of designing and implementing international treaties

In International Politics

Having knowledge regarding international politics is important since a minor change in international relations can greatly affect your country. International politics is responsible for wars that have happened and the peace that is happening today. If you are to write a research paper on international politics, these are some landmark topics for this branch:

  1. International cooperation in the context of neo-globalization
  1. Globalization and the Anti-Globalization Movement
  1. Patriotism in times of transnationalism 
  2. Negotiating for hostages in foreign countries
  3. Impact of UMSCA on international trade
  4. Impact of China-Taiwan-Hong Kong relations in international economy
  5. Impact of China-Soviet conflict to US-China relations
  6. Failures of the UN’s nuclear disarmament efforts
  7. Comparison of China’s and Japan’s foreign aid policies
  8. Feminist approaches to international relations theory
  9. Implications of the US leaving the Paris Treaty on Climate Change
  10. Effects of Brexit in the UK and in Europe

American Government and Politics

The impact of America as a superpower nation is that it is the model of most countries when it comes to politics. American government is important when studying political science since it is the basis of some international policies. If you are to write a research paper regarding American government and politics, you might want to try these topics:

  1. Influence of celebrities on political campaigns
  2. The phenomenon of celebrity-politicians
  3. Implications of citizen-initiated-campaign
  4. Interest-group Pluralism in American politics
  5. Stereotypes on Arab-Americans in the US
  6. Racial Profiling in US media post 9/11 
  7. Criminal Law & Common Morality
  8. Ethical dilemmas in the Whistleblower Act
  9. Analysis of hate crimes and terminology
  10. Effectiveness of Rape Shield Laws

Political Methodology

Blind obedience is dangerous and it may even cause the demise of a nation. To avoid that, people must be aware of various political process that enables the government to function—the right to vote is one of the most important subject under this branch. If you are planning to choose a topic under this branch, here are some topics you can write about:

  1. Factors contributing to the persistence of white supremacy
  2. Impact of Affirmative Action Initiatives
  3. Party identification and its implications
  4. Impact of Equal Rights Amendment
  5. Significance of civil society in post-conflict settings
  6. Damages caused by the US immigration policy
  7. Effects of debt crisis in the development of heavily indebted countries
  8. Factors contributing to voter suppression in the US
  9. Pros and cons of pardoning criminals
  10. The role of political socialization on voter attitudes

In Political Arguments

Challenging your own thoughts and debunking well-established theories can help you ace your Political Science research paper. Here are some of the most thought provoking political arguments:

  1. 21st Century Disputes: War or Diplomacy?
  2. Is Revolution for the Greater Good?
  3. Nuclear Weapons: A Necessity or Just a Precaution?
  4. Is It Possible to Completely Eliminate Corruption?
  5. Is Having a Third World War Possible?
  6. What Should Be the Government’s Stand Regarding Same-Sex Marriage?
  7. Presidential vs. Parliamentary: Which is Better?
  8. Is War a Political Decision or an Inevitable Outcome of a Failed International Relation? 
  9. National Security vs. Citizen’s Privacy: Which is More Important?
  10. Should a Political Leader Be More Authoritarian or Compassionate?

Political Negotiation and Mediation

As a student and a citizen, you must have deeper understanding regarding the process of resolving international conflicts especially if it involves economic and national security. Political mediation pertains to conferences that aim to arrive in a peaceful resolution regarding conflicts. Here are some political negotiation and mediation topics you can write about:

  1. Groundbreaking Constitutional Talks Regarding Syria
  2. Handling Agricultural Land Disputes
  3. Handling Corporate Transnational Legal Disputes
  4. Civil Procedure vs. Mediation Process
  5. Methods in Negotiating During War
  6. The Mediation Process in the Permanent Court of Arbitration
  7. Drafting Arbitration and Mediation Clauses
  8. Negotiation Process for Hostages in Foreign Countries
  9. Negotiation Process for Pirate Hostages
  10. International Arbitration Tribunal Mediation Process

Hot Political Issues for 2020

Being aware of the current events regarding politics is crucial not only for your academic life but also for your role as a citizen. What is great in writing about current political issues is that it enables you to apply what you have learned in your political science course with what is currently happening. Here are the most talked about political issues for 2020:

  1. The Rising Tension between Iran and the United States
  2. The Impact of Qasem Soleimani’s Death on the Oil Markets
  3. Donald Trump’s Impeachment
  4. The Mounting Economic Pressure caused by Australian Bushfires
  5. The Rising Right-Wing Ideology caused by India’s Citizenship Law
  6. The Rising Terrorist Violence in West Africa, Sahel Region
  7. Participatory Democracy
  8. The China-US Trade War Deal
  9. Asia’s Changing Consumerism
  10. Displacement and Migration Due to Climate Change

Research paper writing services for college students

These are some of the most interesting topics in the field of Political Science. You can either use these as the topic for your Political Science essay or as jumping point for a more specific topic. If you still are undecided about what topic to write in your Political Science research paper, you may consult with CustomEssayMeister’s writers. We at CustomEssayMeister produce custom written papers that are 100% plagiarism-free, written in accordance with the unique instructions of each and every client. For essay help, research paper help, and any other kind of academic writing help, come to us, as we are the number 1 online writing help in the market. 

Written by
Alex Ponomarenko
I am a content manager from California, US. I started as a content writer intern eleven years ago and became a content manager six years after. I joined CustomEssayMeister five years ago and enjoy being a part of the team every day.

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