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Department of Political Science College of Liberal Arts

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What is Political Science?

The Study of Politics


Political Science is the study and evaluation of government, politics and public policies. Students of political science are not necessarily those who are enthusiastic about government, but those who appreciate the importance of politics and government in determining what happens to us. From birth certificates and college loans to war and peace, the role of government affects us throughout our lives. Political Science asks two types of questions:

1. How do governments work and what do they do?

2. What should governments do? Should they be bigger or smaller? Are they doing the right sort of things? Should there be any government at all?

The UMD Political Science Department has a diverse faculty, who disagree on the answers to these questions. Political Science students are invited to join in the debates among the faculty about the way government works, and whether we ought to aim at increasing or decreasing its role in our lives.

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