"If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things." Plato, The Republic.
The academic field if political science (poli-sci) has been defined in books as the systematic evaluation of how governments operate using scientific methods of analysis. My understanding is that poli-sci encompasses examining how the different government institutions exercise public power and the legal-political context they operate in. The scope of poli-sci means that unlike legal studies or other social sciences, it exclusively focuses on the acquisition, retention, and exercise of political power. This political power is the ability of one political actor can influence the conduct of other political actors within a political system. Consequently, the field of political science may overlap with the field of political philosophy; the two are different. The latter is primarily concerned with jurisprudential justification for why citizens should or should not obey a government's political authority. Since it is normative, its methodology is rationalistic. This is the direct opposite of how poli-sci favors descriptive analysis to create theories or presents conclusions using empirical evidence.
The main criticism of poli-sci I came across consistently is that even with its reliance on empirical proof, it does not give precise predictions. This weakness has become the basis of claims that it is not real science. The academic Thomas Kuhn has famously argued that the term poli-sci is a misnomer because the field lacks basic research paradigms ina similar way the science of chemistry uses a periodic table of elements. He concluded that poli-sci is pseudoscience since, unlike other academic fields correctly categorized as science, poli-sci will never develop a universal theory.
Be that as it may, my interest in studying poli-sci remains unshaken. There is a need to study how governments go about executing their mandate. This is so especially so for people who want a career in public serv
ice. Since, on average, women constitute the majority within a population, for them to participate or take leadership roles in public service, there must be gender-mainstreaming in the field of poli-sci. Gender representation is one of the most poignant subjects in contemporary society. Having the right to vote is not enough. To get rid of social bias about women having the capacity to lead in public service, they must be empowered through learning poli-sci so that they are equipped to provide it. The historical record has shown that women can provide leadership.
For instance, Margaret Thatcher established rose to become one of the most important prime ministers to ever lead Britain in the last century. She broke the glass ceiling by becoming Europe's first female prime minister. She did such a good job that she became Britain's longest-serving prime minister in the 20th century. She inherited a weak economy from the previous Labour administration but overcame it. Margaret Thatcher provided leadership to her cabinet using her courage, decisiveness, and intellectual capacity(she was a university degree in chemistry) to lift Britain out of economic turmoil. During her tenure, her successes became the basis of the concept of Thatcherism as a strain of classical liberalism the Conservative party ascribes to. Today it means a government that follows austerity economic policies, moral absolute, promotes nationalism, strongly protects individual and private property rights.
I come from a family of civil servants. It has been inculcated in me, since my childhood, that public service is one of the most honorable ways of showing love for my country. With time, I have come to the understanding that good governance determines the quality of life for citizens in a given nation. This happened after picking up the habit of reading political commentators in newspapers and watching their lectures on Youtube. All across the globe, there are examples of bad governance leading to state collapse. This, in turn, has led to the breakdown of law and order usually manifested as a destructive civil war.
In Somalia, a dictator rose to power and played both the East and West during the Cold War to finance his despotic rule over his people. When the Cold War ended with the economic collapse of the USSR, the Somali government was deposed by an armed insurgency. Since bad governance guaranteed that Somalia never had a political culture of strong democratic institutions or the rule of law, that nation has not known peace ever since Siad Barre was deposed.
On the other hand, liberal democracies are anchored in the idea of limited and accountable governance. This has created a political system that constantly guards against arbitrary rule, and in this way, it has largely prevented the possibility of state collapse in part because the legitimacy of a state is predicated on respect of human rights. This, in turn, means that the government must deliver on social services like public health, security, and education for its citizens to view it as legitimate.
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