OER Librarian
Political Science
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Anarchy, Constitutionalism, Culture, Democracy, Oligarchy, Pluralism, Republic, Sovereignty
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Media Formats:

Introduction to Political Science as an Academic Discipline: Course Map & Recommended Resources


Introduction to Political Science as an Academic Discipline

The resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:

  1. Define political science as an academic discipline
  2. Recognize the links to many disciplines
  3. Identify its sub-disciplines of political science
  4. Define American National Government
  5. Define politics
  6. Define power in the context of politics
  7. Identify models of power
  8. Define civic engagement

Discussion Questions and Key Concepts

Discussion Questions

  1. Define politics. Identify ways in which you encounter politics in your everyday life.

  2. What does David Easton mean by politics as the authoritative allocation of value?

  3. Define power and authority. How are they different? Can an individual or institution have power but not authority? Authority but not power? Explain and give examples.

  4. What is the pluralist conception of power? Give an example.

  5. What is meant by constitutionalism?

Key terms or concepts (define):

  1. Constitutionalism

  2. Culture

  3. Sovereignty

  4. Anarchy

  5. Democracy

  6. Oligarchy

  7. Pluralism

  8. Republic