Introduction to Political Science

Political science (also political studies) – the study of political behaviour and an examination of the acquisition and application of power.


2              Political Science

Political philosophy – the study of fundamental questions about the state, government, politics, liberty, justice, property, rights, law and the enforcement of a legal code by authority.


3              Theories of Political Behaviour

An aspect of political science, attempt to quantify and explain the influences that define a person’s political views, ideology, and levels of political participation.


4              Ideology

Politics and ideology – an organized collection of ideas


5              International Law

Public international law, which involves for instance the United Nations, maritime law, international criminal law and the Geneva conventions.

Private international law or conflict of laws, which addresses the question of which legal jurisdiction cases may be heard in supranational law or the law of supranational organizations, which concerns at present regional agreements where the special distinguishing quality is that laws of nation states are held inapplicable when conflicting with a supranational legal system.

6              Political Systems

A political system is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the law system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems. It is different from them, and can be generally defined on a spectrum from left, i.e. communism, anarchism and socialism to the right, i.e. fascism and conservatism.


7              Separation of Powers

A model for the governance of democratic states. Under this model, the state is divided into branches, and each branch of the state has separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility. The normal division of branches is into the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial.


7              Political Party

A political party is a political organization that seeks to attain political power within a government.


8              Politics

Political parties

The role of parties in politics

Political parties today

The History of political parties

The legislative branch

The executive branch

9              Political Campaign

An organized effort which to influence the decision making process within a specific group. In democracies, political campaigns often refer to electoral campaigns, wherein representatives are chosen or referenda are decided. Political campaigns also include organized efforts to alter policy within any institution.


10           Elections

An election is a decision making process where people choose people to hold official offices. This is the usual mechanism by which a democracy fills offices in the legislature, sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and for regional and local government.


11           Voting

A method of decision making wherein a group such as a meeting or an electorate attempts to gauge its opinion—usually as a final step following discussions or debates.


12           Public Administration and Bureaucracy

Public Administration can be broadly described as the development, implementation and study of government policy. Public Administration is linked to pursuing the public good by enhancing civil society and social justice.


13           Public Relations

The practice of managing and manipulating the flow of information between an organization and its public. Use of PR tactics are widespread amongst corporations marketing products and services, corporations attempting to influence legislators and politicians, nonprofit organization seeking to raise funds and political parties campaigning for election and reflection


Training Format:

  • All materials are made available through our Online Learning Platform
  • Students should commit approximately 5-6 hours of their time per week

Materials Provided:

Online delivery of curriculum materials, exercises and templates.


In order to demonstrate their understanding of the course content, students will be required to submit assignments at the end of every month.

Duration of course – 6 months




ORGANIZERS: Capacity Africa Institute

LANGUAGE: English only

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Online Training Coordinator

Capacity Africa Institute