Coming up with good political science research topics may seem like a daunting task. Whether you’re interested in foreign policy, international conflict, or immigration policy, it is worthwhile to take some time to research and find out which topics are currently relevant before diving into research. You want a topic that is manageable and meaningful. After all, you are going to invest a good deal of time and effort in answering the central questions of your project.
In this article, we will show you ten examples of political science research topics for bachelor’s degree students. We also show you how to craft political science research questions that work. With this list of currently relevant political science research paper topics, you can be sure you’ll work on something meaningful and relevant.
What Makes a Strong Political Science Research Topic?
A strong research topic is original and relevant. It builds on previous studies published by reputable sources. It’s broad enough to be relatable but narrow enough to be unique. To get some ideas, you can explore the most recent topics published in Cambridge University Press’s American Political Science Review. It covers all areas of political science, from American politics to foreign relations.
Ask teachers from your academic department what they are currently writing about. Talk to your academic advisor if you can’t find a strong topic. Finally, make sure that your topic follows the guidelines set by your teacher.
Tips for Choosing a Political Science Research Topic
- Pick a meaningful topic. The research will be more enjoyable if you find it personally interesting. For instance, if immigration policy is a topic of personal value to you, you can center your research topic around it and this will help you stay engaged in your research.
- Discuss research ideas with classmates. They can help you find insight from a fresh perspective.
- Make sure your topic has a manageable size. One of the major requirements for choosing a topic is making sure that it will be manageable. Explore some key questions in your chosen field until you narrow your own topic down to something you can take on successfully.
- Use reputable sources. Choose authoritative articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Make sure you choose the ones relevant to your topic, whether that is democratic governments, the political behavior of a particular group, or a particular authoritarian regime.
- Join the current scholarly debate. Make your topic part of cutting-edge research. Discussing things like current forms of government or current political events will help you ensure your chosen topic will contribute to salient issues of political theory as well as critical policy debates.
What’s the Difference Between a Research Topic and a Research Question?
A research topic is a focused area of study in a scientific field or subfield. The goal of the research question is to narrow down that area even further. By answering the research question, you contribute to understanding the topic. The research question guides your research and writing, leading you to make a contribution to that particular topic and field.
How to Create Strong Political Science Research Questions
Gather information on your topic to get familiar with the current research. Find an interesting aspect to explore. Identify the gaps in the research mentioned in articles about your topic. Now, try to find a question that would address that gap.
Start your question with what, why, when, or how. The question must be clear and focused. You can also use guides to develop a research question by narrowing the topic to help you get started.
Top 10 Political Science Research Paper Topics
1. Building Government Capacity to Address Global Environmental Challenges
Complex tradeoffs are part of environmental policy, especially in the 21st Century. Green technology investments can boost the economy and create jobs. But workers in the oil and coal industry will lose them. This is all part of an ongoing discussion about environmental protection and the political attitudes of different groups towards green policies.
The public will support climate policy only if the costs are fairly distributed. Governments have to generate transparent policies to earn the trust of the citizens. This controversial topic demands a good deal of research, an understanding of environmental policy, an analysis of policy outcomes, and the development of new political theories.
2. Influence of Social Movements and Advocacy Groups on Policymaking
The government often makes its policies behind closed doors. In response, social movements organize to get access to and take part in policymaking. Every representative democracy needs the participation of social movements and advocacy groups. They help to hold the American government accountable, ensuring the human rights of citizens are protected.
Social movements and advocacy groups have a powerful influence on public opinion, and can influence the political participation of specific groups. American politics has to consider their ideas to improve political attitudes. Political science researchers have to expand on this topic to understand collective action.
3. Effect of an Interdependent World on the Roles of Governments and Institutions
Many of the policy challenges at a domestic level are now global, and political leaders know this. Governments need policies to regulate institutions, promote international cooperation, and lessen political disputes. They need to train their workforce with a global mindset. This also has a direct impact on political campaigns and electoral politics.
As globalization influences the political development of all nations, government employees are now working on an international stage. They need knowledge of international relations to share knowledge and collaborate. Policymaking for an interdependent world is a relevant political science topic.
4. Prosperity and Equality Through Public Policy
The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging the financial stability of many families. Technological disruptions cause unexpected changes in the international markets. Clearly, we cannot take for granted the economic resilience of the country. The government uses economic policy to protect prosperity and equality. Economic development is a major topic in political science research.
5. Factors Influencing Policymaking Around Taxes, Regulation, and Trade
Tax policy affects economic development and social progress. Economic reform is part of the international conversation on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Trade regulation and immigration policies are frequently discussed in political science research, making them a great topic for any aspiring political scientist.
6. Influence of Gender, Race, Class, and Other Aspects of Identity on Policymaking
Diversity and intersectionality are becoming necessary topics in modern politics. Educational institutions and public companies are adopting equity and inclusion goals. The expectations for incorporating diversity in policymaking are higher than ever. Policymaking to prevent discrimination and create the grounds for fair immigration policy is a highly relevant topic.
7. The Role of Government in Providing Affordable Healthcare
Universal Health Coverage (UHU) is a World Health Organization (WHO) initiative to provide global access to healthcare services. The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to achieving this goal.
The COVID-19 pandemic made clear the need for international cooperation in health. International relations theories have to change to make UHU possible. Global health policymaking is a pressing research topic in modern politics.
8. Mitigating Cyber Breaches And Security Challenges Through Policymaking
Countries are adopting cyber security strategies through policymaking. Some of them have a dedicated agency for cyber security. Worldwide, information and technology assets are growing in importance. Cyber security is now part of contemporary world politics and the economic development of nations.
Cyber regulation comes with a whole new set of policymaking challenges that contemporary world politics needs to tackle. It involves international cooperation and coordination. Policymaking to neutralize cyber threats is a growing topic in modern politics research.
9. Harnessing Data for Good Governance
Partnerships between public institutions and private companies facilitate the use of big data. This comes with several institutional challenges, like combining data sources. Regulating data access and addressing privacy concerns will need extensive policymaking. Modernizing data governance is a current topic in political science research.
10. Regulating Disinformation In the United States Through Public Policy
Americans are turning to social media and biased websites to make sense of politics. The proliferation of misinformation is fueling division and polarization, and can depress public confidence and discourage political participation. Regulating disinformation through public policy is becoming an urgent topic.
Regulating freedom of speech is not common in the American political tradition. Political scientists use cost-benefit analysis to find balanced solutions for these complex problems. There are growing opportunities for research on the topic of misinformation regulation and the role of government in the digital age.
Other Examples of Political Science Research Topics & Questions
Political Science Research Topics
- Ethnic Conflict Between Americans and Arab-Americans in the United States
- Telecommunications Policies in China
- The Supreme Court and Reproductive Rights
- The Evolution of Affirmative Action Initiatives
- The Development of a Constitutional Right of Privacy
Political Science Research Questions
- How can public leaders balance political realities and policy priorities?
- What developments in science and technology are changing political attitudes?
- Will public-private partnerships change the approach of government to public problems?
- How do policymakers navigate the tensions between private power and democratic values?
- How can public policymaking integrate a human rights perspective?
Choosing the Right Political Science Research Topic
It is important to know how to choose a research topic if you want to pursue a political science degree. The right political science research topic is engaging and manageable. Choose a topic that is interesting to you. It will keep you engaged and motivated during the research process. Keep in mind that your initial research topic might change. As your expertise grows, your topic will become more precise.
Political Science Research Topics FAQ
Political science is a field of knowledge that studies political phenomena. American politics, political theories, and international politics are common topics in political science. Political scientists use comparative politics and policy analysis to improve public problems.
Political science research is important because it improves public policies and can lead to necessary legal reform. It helps citizens understand American politics and foreign policy issues. Research in political science improves international cooperation and global environmental policies, and helps us make sense of major world events.
Yes, you can get a political science degree online. You can get a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in political science without going to college. There are several online political science degree options from good universities. With a Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED), you can get a political science associate degree in two years.
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With a degree in political science, you can get a job as a legislative assistant or a campaign manager. Social media managers for political institutions are also in demand. With a graduate degree in political science, you can become a policy analyst or an urban planner. Political scientists can work in either academia or the private sector.
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