Picking Up-To-Date Political Science Research Paper Topics For College


Political science is a strikingly broad discipline. That’s why choosing a topic for your research paper must factor in which sector of politics it will concern. There are at least six major directions to investigate:


  • General approaches in political science.

  • This is the history of the discipline (turning points in its development) and general approaches to it (postmodernism, political psychology, neo-institutionalism).


  • Political theory (basic political concepts, the relations between the state and the individual).
  • Comparative politics (the comparative analysis of different political systems in different countries).
  • Political methodology (ways of scientific investigation of political issues).
  • International relations (the analysis of foreign policies, global governance).
  • Political thought (views of major political thinkers on different political phenomena).

Even when divided into several branches, this area of study still has a lot of interesting themes to be discussed within each one of them. Here are some tips on how to pick something topical and relevant.


  1. Ask your professor.

  2. Your lecturer is probably passionate about their subject and knows all its ins and outs. Don’t hesitate to ask them about current issues that are worth being analyzed in your paper.


  3. Pursue your interests.

  4. Always choose the topic you’re interested in. Start making up a list of your favorite ideas from the very first lecture. Highlight in your notes the names of prominent scholars and political figures whose views you share. You can also mark the interesting chapters in your textbook. At the end of the term, it will be much easier for you to pick out something concordant with your inclinations.


  5. Specify the question.

  6. You won’t be able to cover a very broad topic, so narrow it down to a couple of specific questions or even down to a single one. You can start by choosing an extensive subject, then do a lot of reading to finally come up with a particular issue that you’ll scrutinize in your paper. Consider the following general ideas that can be narrowed down, for example, to a particular country:


    • Affirmative action.
    • Urban politics.
    • Interest groups and pluralism.
    • Voting behavior.
    • Religion and politics in today’s world.
    • Modern democratic thought.
    • Interdependence and globalization.
    • Feminist international movements.
    • International organizations.
    • Celebrity influence on political campaigns.

  7. Analyze calls for papers.

  8. Browse through the conference websites. You’ll find lists of burning issues in your field that are open to being researched. Choose the one that interests you the most.