Explain the Behavioural Approach to the study of Political Science
Ans: Behaviouralism is one of the most
important development in Political Science
in the 20th century. It is a modern Science. approach to the study of Political Science. The behavioural approach was infact a protest movement within Political Science because American Political Scientists were throughly dissatisfied with the achievements of the traditional study of Political Science. It had arisen as a reaction against the traditional Political Science which was normative in character, regarded political institutions as the basic units of political study and analysis and followed the deductive, historical and legal institutional methods of increasing. Behavioralistis on the other hand emphasis on scientific, objective and value free study of Political Phenomena as conditioned by the environment, particularly the. behaviour of the individuals involved in the phenomena. Behavioural approach does not convey the same meaning to all its supporters every behavioralist interprets it in his own way. However, there are some components on which all agree. 

David Easton calls these component the intellectual foundations tones of behavioralism. These are-

a. Regularities : They believe that there are certain uniformities in the political behaviour of the individuals. They can be discovered and expressed in theories on the basis of which political phenomena can be explained and predicted.

b. Verification : Theories can be accepted as valid only if they can be tested and verified by reference to relevant behaviour.

c. Techniques: The behaviouralists emphasis that political researchers should adopt correct technique for collecting and interpreting data

d. Quantification : The behaviouralists have great faith in quantification and measurement. They insists that all date for re-search in Political Science should be quantified and all generalisations must be based on quantifiable data.

e. Values: The behaviouralists agree that ethical values and facts are two separate things and should be kept separate in political analysis.

f. Pure Science: The behaviouralists that researchers in Political Science should adopt the pure science approach to their work.

g. Integration : Finally, the behaviouralists attach great importance to the integration of Political Science with other Social Science.

 General characteristics Behavioural-

(i) insist that Political Scientists should ristricted themselves to the study and analysis of particular facts and notconcern themselves with values.

(ii) It treats the individuals and not the formal political institutions as the basic units of political analysis. While recognizing the importance of institutional behaviour, it insists that it cannot be understood independently of the behaviour of tie individuals. It lays emphasis on the inter-disciplinary approach. It seeks affiliation with the concepts, theories and approaches of other disciplines, such as psychology, economics, Sociology etc. It insists that all political research should be theory oriented. Its aim should be the foundation of systematic emperical theory.

(v) The behavioural approach regards natural sciences as its ideals and rejects the methods of humanities. It attempts to study all political phenomena in terms of observed and observable facts. It also legs satistical and mathematical techniques in the discipline of Political Science.


(a) Behaviouralism concerns more with techniques than results. Behaviouralists attact too much importance to the techniques and methods and do not worry at all about the theoritical importance of the subject.

(b) Behaviouralism emphasis the importance of behavioural effects at the cost of institutional effects.

(c) Study of politics can never be value free. The critics of behaviouralism contend that politics can never be value-free as held by behaviouralists. Actually the very selection of subjects for investigation is determined by values.

(d) Behaviouralists have concentrating their study mainly on the static subjects rather on the current problems. Some of the burning problems like the threat of a nuclear war, hunger, famine etc. have been ignored by them as these do not suit their study.

(e) It is very difficult to study the ever changing behaviour of men because the emotions, ideas and thinking go on changing continuously. Therefore, absoulutely no correct predictioncan be made about the behaviour of man.

(f) There must be clear-cut boundaries amongst different Social Sciences, because others have no adequate knowledge of Political Science. The Scholars belongingg to other Social Sciences ├žannot be allowed to dominate Political Science.to