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For instance: “How should the international community respond to piracy off the coast of Somalia?” Yet other questions may require you to about a situation based on a set of criteria.Choose a question that is important to the scholarly literature. Is equality or freedom more important to democracy?
We also know that we are interested in understanding the role of the international community.
One decision we might make is to narrow the focus even further.
Political science as an academic discipline is a relatively new phenomenon, but the origins of the study are ancient.
The Greeks, Plato and Aristotle in particular, were the first thinkers to ask political questions in a systematic way, making the possible political topics for a research paper practically endless.
Other central figures of this time include Locke, Burke, Rousseau, Mill and Marx.
They laid the framework for the contemporary study of politics with themes such as the social contract, the state of nature, democracy and representative government, constitutional law, and the relationship between economics and political systems.Defining and measuring such core concepts is a the topic of a later section in this website. The types of questions that might be valuable have been the subject of some debate and discussion amongst political scientists.King, Keohane and Verba’s 1994 book, cited below, suggests possible criteria to use in deciding on a topic and question (See especially their discussion that begins on page 14). Choose a question that is important right now in the world; or 2. But consider carefully who you want your audience to be, and how you can make your project important to that audience.Plato's "Republic" and Aristotle's "Politics" laid the groundwork for the modern conception of politics.Concerned with how to live in the city-state, or "polis," Aristotle was the first thinker to systematically study and categorize political systems.The last question could be: “Has the response to Somali piracy been effective?” This is a clear, focused question that could form the basis of a student research paper.One way of narrowing in on a topic is to categorize the different areas with which political science is concerned, such as a particular historical topic in political theory or a specific trend in contemporary life.The history of political theory is broken down into several stages, with foundations dating back to Ancient Greece., rather than merely a statement can be a very useful step towards focusing the research project in general.It is common to begin with a broad topic, for instance: “The international community’s response to piracy off the coast of Somalia.” You could rephrase this as a ): “What has been the international community’s response to piracy off the coast of Somalia?