Politics, especially world politics, can offer you a never-ending list of ideas when it comes to academic writing. Your possibilities here are practically limitless. However, that can actually become the main obstacle in your way. Sometimes, having too many options is just as distracting as having none of them at all. You find it hard to choose. Well, the confusion is understandable. Still, you have to make the final decision, and it’s better to do it sooner than later.
Our advice is to divide potential topics into several categories and go from there. So here are 25 political science research paper topics that you may want to consider for your next essay.
How to Write a Political Science Research Paper
Before you even start searching for the political topics to write about, you should first learn the basics of political science research paper writing. Once you have an idea of what you want to discuss, do your research and come up with a strong thesis statement. This statement should demonstrate the purpose of your work and what you are trying to achieve/discover with it.
The goal of a research paper is to bring something new to the table. So even when you help a discussion on the old and common theme, let’s say the war in Iraq, you still have to bring a new angle to that discussion. Hence, you should search for the areas that have been under the radar, or find a new angle when covering a situation.
Next, write an outline where you map out all the main points of your future research. See whether you are missing out on anything or have a weak support system. You have to provide proper evidence and explanation for each of your main points. Write your paper using an outline as a guide.
Also, remember that the correct use of citations and references is the crucial element of any research paper. So make sure you follow proper citation style and put every single reference in your bibliography at the end of your work. Don’t forget to proofread it afterward.
These are the main steps to writing a good research paper. However, as always, it all starts with the main idea. Let’s see what kind of topics you can use for your assignment.
1. Comparative Politics
One of the easiest ways to make a political paper is to offer a comparative analysis between two different states or governments when you write about domestic politics. The more diverse your options are, the more interesting it gets. Hence, you can look for a comparative analysis between a conservative state ruled by a monarchy, such as Saudi Arabia, and a social democratic state like Norway. Thus, here’s the first topic for you: “The comparison of government style between Norway and Saudi Arabia.” Let’s see other examples:
- Scandinavian socialism vs. Chinese communism;
- presidential vs. parliamentary democracy;
- the difference between former British colonies: Australia and Canada;
- Nigeria and Rwanda: postcolonial period;
- a comparison of rentier states: the case of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
You can start by picking countries that you would love to compare and analyze their governance style. Also, you can start with the concept, certain policy, or ideology and find states that would help you demonstrate that comparison.
It is great to explain current research topics in political science with a historical perspective. As you know, most current world politics and its problems are the outcomes of history. Historical influence on the politics that each country is pursuing is undeniable. So why not research it a bit further? Pick a historic conflict or rivalry of the past centuries and analyze how that past tension impacted current relationships among countries. Research certain events of the past and state their role in the current political situation in the region. Here are the examples:
- the aftermath of the Cold War of USA and Eastern European relationships;
- Poland and Germany: is there room for forgiveness?
- the imperial past of Russian Federation and its current relations with former Soviet republics;
- the impact of colonialism on African geopolitics;
- US-Vietnam war: the establishment of diplomatic relationships postwar.
All interesting political science research topics should have a solid foundation, roots, and relevance to the modern world. These historical topics will provide you with all of these factors and more. Writing about these issues will show how much research you put into the work and demonstrate your ability to find and analyze the cause-and-effect connections in politics.
Good politics is when there is little to write about. On the contrary, failed political strategies are full of interesting twists that you can use for your assignment. Conflicts in politics are so common, complex, and constant that they can provide all political studies students with endless possibilities for their research. See it for yourself:
- the US vs. Iraq;
- the roots and causes of the Arab Spring in the Gulf region;
- Afghanistan conflict;
- Eritrean–Ethiopian War;
- the civil war in Syria;
- Palestine-Israel conflict;
- geopolitical wars in Yemen;
- war in the East of Donbas: Ukraine defense against Russia.
As you can see, this list is rather long already, but it has only touched upon the most famous recent conflicts in history. These topics are often present in academic discussions, so you may also try to add up some new perspectives on the matter.
4. Political Theory and Ideologies
The world is full of various ideologies and theories on how to govern. Well, those ideologies are all worth researching. It’s not just that they are extremely important. Hence, understanding them is crucial for your further studies. But it’s that they can provide rich soil for discussions, where you should feel free to interpret and analyze those theories according to your vision. These types of topics don’t aim at solving or giving answers to world problems. Instead, they aim to understand the very nature of our world. These topics can give you a good example of that:
- the philosophy of Aristotle and Socrates;
- Karl Marx’s ideas and their implementation in the Soviet Union;
- communism vs. capitalism;
- The Prince by Machiavelli: the philosophy of realism;
- the spread of the anarchist ideology in the 20th century;
- the nature of political conflict;
- the concepts of liberty, justice, and equality in politics.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, political science is rich in research ideas. All you need is just some inspiration and time for conducting your own research. Remember that a political science paper is not a place to be biased. You have to explain all sides and always provide evidence for all your statements. Be sensitive with your tone, as politics is all about people. Yet, be professional and uncompromising when it comes to facts and expressing your position.