Difference Between Polity and Political Science – Polity vs Political Science

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The difference between Polity and Political Science is that political science is a branch of social sciences that focuses on the practice and theory of politics and government from the basic rural to the international levels. On the other hand, polity defines a specific form or unit of a political organization, having people sharing a collective identity.

Difference Between Polity and Political Science PDF

While political science is an elective paper, the polity is generally a part of General Studies. Although political science and polity are interrelated and often confused, there is a major difference between Polity and Political Science that all students appearing for competitive examinations must be clear about.

Difference Between Polity and Political Science

The difference between polity and political science is that while the former denotes a study of a specific form or unit of a political organization, the latter is a branch of social sciences that studies the theory and practice of politics across the strata of a government.

Polity vs Political Science

Difference Between Polity and Political Science


Political Science

When studied as a part of geopolitics, polity can be distinguished into various forms, including a nation, an empire, a state, political organizations, etc.

Political science can be distinguished into various sub-fields of study, including political economy, international relations, political methodology, and comparative politics.

Any group organized for governance, such as a council of judges appointed by the apex court or a nation’s government, can be termed a polity.

Political science is an umbrella of studies that includes deep research into various methods based on structuralism, realism, and behaviourism.

A collective sense of responsibility prevails among the polity toward its members.

Collective responsibility is enforced on the lower houses of the parliaments (on both the state and national levels).

A polity can be an organization that is dissociated from the government.

Political science generally observes and researches the methodology of government structures only.

Polity and Political Science

Polity and Political Science are related to each other via the common ground of politics. A business entity can also be regarded as a polity if it has a proper governance structure and adheres to its legal rights properly.

Any other entity dissociated from the structure of governments and politics does not generally come under the ambit of political science.

What is Polity?

Thomas Hobbes coined the term “Polity” in his book “Leviathan,” published in 1651. Polity meaning is often considered a faction within a larger organization. For example, the Santhals are one of the distinct polity units of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

  • At the same time, they make a part of a larger organization, that is, India.
  • Polities can be non-governmental organizations as well.
  • They can also be free from any control from one geographical area and can be controlled by vast areas.
  • This state of having a non-defined territory makes the polities a different organization than states.

What is Political Science?

The Roman philosopher Aristotle was considered the “Father of Political Science.” Political science often tends to measure the triumphs of specific governments and policies by charting their justice, public health, stability, and economic growth, among other factors.

Political science concerns the research on the social behaviour of the power assigned for decision-making, their political impacts and policies, etc. Political science has the following branches:

  • Comparative politics,
  • International relations, and;
  • Political theory.


Key Difference Between Polity and Political Science

The key Difference Between Polity and Political Science is that Polity is a comprehensible political identity that comprises any group of people, whereas Political Science is a social science subject that examines systems of administration and the study of political actions.

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