Behaviouralism & Post Behaviouralism Political Science YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Behaviouralism & Post Behaviouralism


  • The process of development of new science of Politics, which has now come to be known as modern Political Science, began with the coming of Behavioural revolution.
  • The deep dissatisfaction with the nature, scope, methods, and conclusions of the traditional Political Science led to the emergence of a revolution-the Behavioural revolution in Politics.
  • The critics consider this as an assimilation of the concepts of Sociology with Political Science.

Growth of Behaviouralism

  • Since 1949, the behavioural approach has posed the most serious challenge to traditional approach.
  • Political Behaviouralism represents one of the most challenging developments in contemporary political science.
  • Though the roots of political Behaviouralism stretch back to the beginning of the century in the work of such European scholars as Max Weber and Graham Wallas, its phenomenal post 1945, development has been primarily the work of Americans. AS Evron, M Kirkpatrick has observed, “The challenge to traditional political science of behavioural approach deserves to be ranked as the most single development in political science.”

Behaviouralism is Not Behaviourism

David Easton

Behaviouralism, as Easton points out, should not be confused with Behaviourism. Behaviourism is a concept in psychology.

David Easton writes, “The original behavioristic paradigm S – R (Stimulus – Response) has yielded to the more intelligible one S-O-R (Stimulus-Organism-Response) in which feelings, motivations, and all the other aspects of the subjective awareness and reaction of the organism are taken into account as partially useful data. This has of course, spelled the doom of Behaviourism, as a term.”

Characteristics of Behaviouralism

  • Regularities
  • Verification
  • Quantification
  • Value
  • Techniques
  • Systemization
  • Pure Science
  • Integration

Post Behaviouralism

  • Behaviouralism came as a revolution and like every revolution could hold real ground only for a short span of time.
  • Within twenty years, right from mix sixties, there appeared several cracks among the behaviouralists and many of them started advocating the need for “reforms.”
  • While almost none of them advocated a rejection of Behaviouralism, all of them came forward to accept and advocate the need to get away from “Orthodoxism” and to be futuristic.
  • For this, they accepted the need to take into account the experiences of the behavioural research as well as the limitations of Behaviouralism. Such political scepticism, who accepted Behaviouralism but at the same time wanted to reform it, came to be known as Post Behaviouralists and their views as Post-Behaviouralism.

Relevance and Action

Relevance and Acton as the Two Hallmarks of Post- Behaviouralism Two main pillars of Post-Behaviouralism have been “Relevance” and “Action.” That the research and theory building must be relevant to actual social conditions and the brute realities of politics, and those political scientists, have a practical role to play in society.

Seven Tenets of Post Behaviouralism

  • Due and Primary Importance to Substance of Study along with the Techniques
  • Emphasis upon Change
  • Study of all Facts/Realities of Politics
  • Protection of Human Value as the Major Role or Intellectuals
  • Values cannot be totally eliminated from Political Science
  • Political Science is to be developed as an Action Science and Contemplative Science
  • An Active and Essential Role or the Professional associations and Universities in Actual Process of Politics


Which one among the following statements is true?

(A) Behaviouralism is based on Stimulus-Response paradigm.

(B) Post-Behaviouralism consists of seven tenets.

(C) Post-Behaviouralism wholly negates Behaviouralism.

(D) There are no differences between Behaviourism and Behaviouralism.

Answer: (B)


0: 00 Behaviouralism & Post Behaviouralism

0: 56 Behaviouralism

2: 48 Growth of Behaviouralism

4: 20 Behaviouralism Is Not Behaviourism

5: 53 Characteristics of Behaviouralism

7: 40 Post Behaviouralism

8: 42 Relevance and Action

9: 55 Seven Tenets of Post Behaviouralism

11: 20 MCQ about Behaviouralism & Post Behaviouralism

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