4 Different Views of “Political Sociology” by Eminent Sociologists
(i) Political Sociology as Science of State:
One view considers Political Sociology as the science of the state. Here the state is taken to mean either a nation-state or a government. A nation-state is defined as a politically organized national society.
A government-state is held to be a body of rulers and leaders of the national society. In this sense Political Sociology is defined as a study of state which is designated as national society.
“Political Sociology is mainly concerned with explanation of the peculiar social structure called the state.” -Greer and Orleans.
(ii) Political Sociology Studies interactions between Society and Politics:
Several political sociologists, however, regard this view as narrow and limited. They are of the view that Political Sociology is refers to the process of interaction between society and politics.
“Political science starts with the state and examines how it effects society while Political Sociology starts with society and examines how it affects the state.” -Bendix and Lipset.
(iii) Political Sociology Studies Social Roots of Politics:
A third popular notion of Political Sociology defines it in terms of the integration of Sociology with Political Science.
“Political Sociology studies sociological roots of politics. It uses sociological approach to politics”.
(iv) Political Sociology Studies Power in Society:
A fourth view advocates that Political Sociology studies the exercise of power in society.
“Political Sociology studies power and the exercise of power in society. It is the science of authority and command. It studies power and domination in the social context” -Maurice Duverger.
This view of Political Sociology as the science of power, authority, command, legitimacy and governance in all societies has been accepted by a large number of contemporary political sociologists.
In simple words, we can define Political Sociology as the study of the relations between state and society (Kate Nash). The discipline draws on comparative history to analyze socio-political trends.