The Department of Political Science is devoted to the study of politics and government, domestically and abroad. This includes the study of political institutions that exercise government authority, including legislatures, courts, and administrative agencies; political organizations through which individuals and groups seek to reshape the political landscape, including parties, interest groups, and social movements; public policies that reflect governmental efforts to regulate the actions of individuals and corporations, including civil rights, immigration, and environmental policy; and the interactions between and among nation-states and transnational organizations that shape patterns of trade and development, conflict and cooperation, war and peace.
As a social science, contemporary political science started to take shape in the latter half of the 19th century. At that time it began to separate itself from political philosophy, which traces its roots back to the works of Chanakya , Aristotle and Plato which were written nearly 2,500 years ago. The term "political science" was not always distinguished from political philosophy, and the modern discipline has a clear set of antecedents including also moral philosophy, political economy, political theology, history, and other fields concerned with normative determinations of what ought to be and with deducing the characteristics and functions of the ideal state.