Department of Political Studies and Public Administration


The Department of Political Studies and Public Administration offers two major programs: one leading to BA and MA in Political Studies and one leading to BA and MA in Public Administration.

What is Political Studies?

Political studies or Political Science as preferably called is a part of man's continuing effort to understand himself and society. Man has been asking and answering questions about politics throughout human history. But the study of politics, separate from the study of philosophy, history, economics, or law, is a fairly recent practice. It started with the beginning of the 20th century and more particularly with the political science of the progressive era in the US (1900-1916). The attitude of the Progressives toward a new field of political science was perfectly epitomized in the statement of Charles Beard that it was "not the function of the student of politics to praise or condemn institutions or theories, but to understand and expound them; and thus for scientific purposes it [the study of politics] is separated from theology, ethics and patriotism." In the background, of course, was the call to classify Political Science as one of the social sciences along with economics, sociology, anthropology and others.

Thus students of politics attempt to describe, analyze and explain problems of governments, institutions and processes. In addition, attention is also given to the relations among states and to international organizations. The Political Studies program is divided into three subdisciplines: Political Theory, Comparative Politics and International Politics. Together these sub-disciplines sharpen the student's mind and analytical ability in a changing world of politics.

Details of the Political Science sub-disciplines and AUB requirements can be found in the current catalogue.

What is Public Administration?

Public Administration as a field of study emerged from an older and broader field - political science. Speaking chronologically, governments first assumed functions, created new agencies, and expanded its personnel. Then belatedly, it made tile discovery that the new era called for new and improved administrative organizations and methods, technically competent personnel chosen on the basis of merit rather than politics, more business like administration.

In other words, the emergence of Public Administration into a separate field of study is the result of the expansion of government's size complexity and scope of assignment, especially their entry into regulation and economic activities; the rise of large corporate organizations; the growing crisis in public policy; (lie rapid urbanization and development of technology; and lately the question of privatization of state owned enterprises. As a growing field of knowledge and practice, Public Administration has become an art of how to create a more effective government and how to manage both public and human relations. Out of experience and research, students of Public Administration have arrived to basic principles that are considered to be valid guide toward more effective administration and greater efficiency in the implementation of public policies and decisions.

The Public Administration program is divided into three sub-disciplines: Administrative theories; Financial Administration and Personnel Administration. Together these three sub-disciplines equip the student to be more or less trained public administrator.

Details of Public Administration sub-disciplines and AUB requirements can be found in the current catalogue.

What about Future career opportunities?

Career opportunities for Political Science and Public Administration graduates are varied and many. Political Science graduates can work in the diplomatic and consular corps, state ministries, journalism. research centers, publishing houses and academic teaching especially those who hold a Ph.D. degree in political science.

Public Administration graduates on the other hand, are more career oriented and directly related to both public and private sectors. Beside working in state ministries and specialized government agencies for planning, reconstruction and development, Public Administration graduates can work in banks, corporations, international agencies (World Bank, IMF, OECD, UNDP, etc.) and academic teaching especially those who hold a Ph.D. degree in Public Administration.

Are you still interested in the Future?

If you are, do get in touch with us and arrange to visit the Department. We will be very happy to answer your questions. We can he reached at the following address:

Dr. Nizar Hamzeh
Chairman of PSPA Department
AUB- Jesup Hall, 2nd floor, room 207.
Extensions 4330-4331.

Created by the Digital Documentation Center at AUB in collaboration with Al Mashriq of Høgskolen i Østfold, Norway.

981102MB/PN - Email: