Political Scientists

A political scientist is someone who studies the systems of governance, political processes, and political issues in a scientific way. Often, they operate within the context of an academic institution. While political science as a separate field of social sciences emerged rather late, the basic concept of political science is an ancient one. Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle is regarded as "The Father of Political Science” as he analyzed and studied political systems philosophically. During the medieval ages, Italian diplomat Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli earned the moniker of “The Father of Modern Political Science.” Political science as a discipline evolved further in the 19th century and the American Political Science Association—the largest professional association of political scientists—was established in 1903. Coming to the contemporary era, Polish-American political scientist Zbigniew Kazimierz "Zbig" Brzezinski was hailed by US President Barack Obama as "one of our most outstanding thinkers." Robert A. Dahl, David Easton, and Samuel Finer are among the other brilliant modern social scientists. One of the few women to make a name for herself in the male-dominated field of political science, Cynthia Enloe focuses on feminism in international relations. Check this section to know more about the greatest political scientists of the world.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Karl Marx

Karl Marx
8
Famous As: Philosopher & Economist Famous for His Theory of 'Marxism' and Book 'Das Kapital'
Birthdate: May 5, 1818
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Trier, Germany
Died: March 14, 1883

Karl Marx, the philosopher, economist, political theorist and socialist revolutionary, is best-known for the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto and the three-volume Das Kapital. His theories, called Marxism, maintained that class conflict leads to the development of human societies and that internal tension were inherent in capitalism, which would ultimately be replaced by the socialist mode of production.

 2 Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice
6
Famous As: 66th United States Secretary of State (2005-09)
Birthdate: November 14, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

The 66th United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made history in 2005 when she became the first female black Secretary of State. She is also the first female to serve as National Security Advisor, a position which she served from 2001 to 2005. One of the most powerful women in the world at one point of time, she has been depicted in Hollywood films.

 3 Maya Harris

Maya Harris
4
Famous As: Lawyer, Political scientist, Writer
Birthdate: January 30, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, United States

A lawyer, law professor, political analyst and a civil rights activist, Maya Harris’s list of achievements is huge. One of the youngest in the US to become a law school dean, Maya Harris has worked with Hillary Clinton and her own sister Kamala Harris in their respective presidential campaigns.

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 4 Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski
4
Famous As: United States National Security Advisor (1977-81)
Birthdate: March 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: May 26, 2017
Polish-American diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski had been a counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson and the National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. He believed in the realist school of international relations. He also taught foreign policy and was seen in programs such as The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
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 5 Friedrich Engels

Friedrich Engels
6
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: November 28, 1820
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Barmen, Germany
Died: August 4, 1895

Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, political scientist, and revolutionary socialist. Along with Karl Marx, Engels helped develop Marxism, which has had a profound impact on fields like philosophy and anthropology. Engels is credited with helping Marx publish Das Kapital, a foundational theoretical work in politics, economics, and materialist philosophy. He also co-authored influential political documents like The Communist Manifesto.

 6 Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville
4
Famous As: Historian Known for His Works 'Democracy in America' & 'The Old Regime' & 'The Revolution'
Birthdate: July 29, 1805
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 16, 1859

French diplomat and political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville is best remembered for his written works The Old Regime and the Revolution and Democracy in America. He was part of French politics, primarily during the July Monarchy and the Second Republic. He had been the minister of foreign affairs briefly.

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 7 Herbert Marcuse

Herbert Marcuse
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: July 19, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: July 29, 1979

The proponent of the Frankfurt School of critical theory, Herbert Marcuse largely influenced the leftist student revolts of the 1960s. Equipped with a PhD in German literature, he wrote Hegel’s Ontology and the Theory of Historicity, with Martin Heidegger. His Eros and Civilization spoke at length about capitalism.

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 8 Aleksandr Dugin

Aleksandr Dugin
4
Famous As: Analyst
Birthdate: January 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

One of the prime organizers of the National Bolshevik Party, Russian politologist Aleksandr Dugin is known for his association with fascism. He supports the creation of a Eurasian empire, which will oppose North Atlantic interests. He has also penned books such as The Fourth Political Theory and Foundations of Geopolitics.

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 9 Herbert Simon

Herbert Simon
6
Famous As: Political scientist
Birthdate: June 15, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: February 9, 2001

Herbert Simon was an American computer scientist, economist, cognitive psychologist, and political scientist. Best remembered for his theories of satisficing and bounded rationality, Simon was honored with the prestigious Turing Award in 1975. In 1978, he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Herbert Simon is considered one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence, complex systems, and organization theory.

 10 Samuel P. Huntington

Samuel P. Huntington
6
Birthdate: April 18, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 24, 2008
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 11 Norman Finkelstein

Norman Finkelstein
6
Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: December 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

 12 Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom
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Famous As: Economist, Political scientist, University teacher
Birthdate: August 7, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Died: June 12, 2012
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 13 Cass Sunstein

Cass Sunstein
11
Famous As: Jurist
Birthdate: September 21, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Concord, Massachusetts, United States

 14 Ralph Bunche

Ralph Bunche
3
Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: August 7, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: December 9, 1971
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 15 Paul David Wellstone

Paul David Wellstone
8
Famous As: United States Senator
Birthdate: July 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: October 25, 2002

 16 William Barr

William Barr
8
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 23, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York (state) New York, U.S.
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 17 Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama
6
Famous As: Fukuyama is known for his book The End of History and the Last Man
Birthdate: October 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

The son of a Japanese-American church minister, Francis Fukuyama was born in Chicago and had virtually no association with the Japanese culture. Educated at Cornell and Harvard, the political economist and academic is associated with Stanford and has penned the iconic book The End of History and the Last Man.

 18 Fredric Jameson

Fredric Jameson
3
Famous As: Essayist, Political scientist, Writer, Professor, Literary critic, Sociologist, Journalist
Birthdate: April 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cleveland

Fredric Jameson is an American philosopher, literary critic, and Marxist political theorist. Jameson is renowned for his analysis of capitalism and postmodernity. He is credited with authoring influential books like The Political Unconscious and Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. In 2012, Fredric Jameson was honored with the Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award by the Modern Language Association.

 19 Dee Dee Myers

Dee Dee Myers
5
Famous As: Political scientist
Birthdate: September 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: North Kingstown, Rhode Island North Kingstown, Rhode Island, U.S.

 20 Hans Morgenthau

Hans Morgenthau
3
Famous As: Judge, Political scientist, Writer, Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: February 17, 1904
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Coburg
Died: July 19, 1980

German-born American political scientist and historian Hans Morgenthau, a leading twentieth-century figure in the study of international relations, is noted for his contributions in international relations theory and the study of international law. His book Politics Among Nations introduced the concept of political realism that played an instrumental role in the foreign policy of the US.

 21 George Friedman

George Friedman
3
Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: February 1, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

A renowned international affairs strategist and geopolitical forecaster, George Friedman is also a New York Times bestselling author, having penned works such as The Storm Before the Calm and The Next 100 Years. He has also headed Stratfor as its CEO and has worked with various US military and government organizations.

 22 Carl Schmitt

Carl Schmitt
4
Famous As: Jurist, Political theorist
Birthdate: July 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Plettenberg, Germany
Died: April 7, 1985
Known for works such as Constitutional Theory and Political Theology, Nazi political theorist and academic Carl Schmitt explored liberalism and the Weimar Republic. He was banned from teaching by the Allied powers after World War II but continued producing works such as Ex Captivitate Salus.

 23 Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti
3
Famous As: Political scientist, Historian
Birthdate: September 30, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Political scientist, historian, and critic Michael Parenti is best known for being a staunch critic of capitalism and America’s foreign policy. The Yale alumnus taught political and social science at various institutes, before becoming a full-time writer and speaker. He is the father of journalist Christian Parenti.

 24 Paul Wolfowitz

Paul Wolfowitz
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Famous As: 28th United States Deputy Secretary of Defense, 10th President of the World Bank Group
Birthdate: December 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

 25 Immanuel Wallerstein

Immanuel Wallerstein
5
Famous As: Economist, Geopolitician, Economic historian, Historian, Political scientist, Writer, Sociologist, University teacher
Birthdate: September 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City

Sociologist, author, and economic historian Immanuel Wallerstein is best remembered for his iconic work The Modern World System, which was the first volume of his world-system theory. He was a Yale researcher and had first been driven to understand world history when he read up about the anticolonial movement in India.

 26 Robert Kagan

Robert Kagan
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Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: September 26, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Athens, Greece

Robert Kagan is an American scholar who believes in neoconservatism. A prominent critic of U.S. foreign policy, Kagan is credited with co-founding a neoconservative think tank called the Project for the New American Century. He also contributes to publications like The Washington Post for which he writes a monthly column and has been a contributing editor at The New Republic.

 27 Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Hans-Hermann Hoppe
4
Famous As: Editor
Birthdate: September 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Peine, Germany

Austrian paleolibertarian and anarcho-capitalist political theorist Hans-Hermann Hoppe is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is identified as a culturally conservative libertarian and his criticism of democracy in his book Democracy: The God That Failed. He founded and serves as president of the right-wing, anarcho-capitalist political organization called Property and Freedom Society.

 28 E. H. Carr

E. H. Carr
3
Famous As: Historian, Journalist, Diplomat, Writer, Political scientist, Professor
Birthdate: June 28, 1892
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London
Died: November 3, 1982

Best known for his 14-volume book A History of Soviet Russia, British historian and diplomat E. H. Carr had been part of the Foreign Office for a long time, before stepping into the academic world. He had also been an assistant editor of The Times and a fellow of both Oxford and Cambridge.

 29 Malcolm Kerr

Malcolm Kerr
6
Birthdate: October 8, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beirut
Died: January 18, 1984

 30 Lothrop Stoddard

Lothrop Stoddard
5
Famous As: Anthropologist, Political scientist, Historian, Author, Journalist, Opinion journalist
Birthdate: June 29, 1883
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brookline
Died: May 1, 1950

Twentieth-century American political scientist and historian Lothrop Stoddard was a Ku Klux Klan and believed in eugenics, a theory that promoted the superiority certain races based on genetics. His book The Revolt Against Civilization introduced neo-Nazi concepts. He also covered World War II as a journalist.

 31 Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk
5
Famous As: Political scientist, Philosopher, Literary critic, Historian, Novelist, Writer, Science fiction writer, Journalist
Birthdate: October 19, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Plymouth
Died: April 29, 1994

Russell Kirk was an American historian, moralist, political theorist, literary and social critic. He is best remembered for his strong influence on 20th-century conservatism in the United States. He is credited with writing The Conservative Mind, which shaped America's postwar conservative movement. Russell Kirk was widely regarded as the leading advocate of traditionalist conservatism.

 32 Eric Williams

Eric Williams
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: September 25, 1911
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: March 29, 1981

 33 Michael Oakeshott

Michael Oakeshott
3
Famous As: Former philosopher and political theorist who was known as one of the 20th century's most conservative thinkers
Birthdate: December 11, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chelsfield, London, England, United Kingdom
Died: December 19, 1990

 34 Robert A. Dahl

Robert A. Dahl
5
Famous As: Political scientist
Birthdate: December 17, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inwood, Iowa Inwood, Iowa, United States U.S.
Died: February 5, 2014

 35 Julian Huxley

Julian Huxley
3
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: June 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 14, 1975

 36 Georges Sorel

Georges Sorel
3
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: November 2, 1847
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, France
Died: August 29, 1922

Georges Sorel was a French political theorist, social thinker, journalist, and historian. He is credited with inspiring Sorelianism, a support system for his ideologies. Georges Sorel is also credited with inspiring several socialists, Fascists, Marxists, and anarchists. In 1891, Georges Sorel was honored with the prestigious Légion d'honneur.

 37 Benedict Anderson

Benedict Anderson
3
Famous As: Political scientist
Birthdate: August 26, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kunming
Died: December 13, 2015

 38 Robert D. Putnam

Robert D. Putnam
3
Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: January 9, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States

 39 Karl Haushofer

Karl Haushofer
3
Famous As: Geopolitician, Political scientist, Educationist, Officer, University teacher, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: August 27, 1869
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Munich
Died: March 10, 1946

 40 Alain de Benoist

Alain de Benoist
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: December 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France

 41 William Graham Sumner

William Graham Sumner
3
Famous As: Anthropologist, Political scientist, Writer
Birthdate: October 30, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 12, 1910

William Graham Sumner was an American social scientist who held America's first professorship in sociology; he served as a professor of social sciences at Yale. Sumner, who wrote several essays and books on American history, political theory, sociology, and economic history, was one of the most popular and influential teachers at Yale. He also had an influence on American conservatism.

 42 Richard Hofstadter

Richard Hofstadter
5
Famous As: Historian, Political scientist, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: August 6, 1916
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Buffalo
Died: October 24, 1970

Richard Hofstadter was an American intellectual and historian who served as a professor at Columbia University. Hofstadter mentored Eric Foner and Paula S. Fass, who became respected historians in their own right. In 1956, Hofstadter won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his work The Age of Reform. In 1964, he received his second Pulitzer Prize for Anti-intellectualism in American Life.

 43 Harold Lasswell

Harold Lasswell
5
Famous As: Political scientist
Birthdate: February 13, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Donnellson, Illinois, United States
Died: December 18, 1978

 44 Carlos Alvarado Quesada

Carlos Alvarado Quesada
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 14, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San José, Costa Rica

 45 Antonia Novello

Antonia Novello
3
Famous As: Former Surgeon General
Birthdate: August 23, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Antonia Novello became the first female and the first person of Hispanic origin to become the U.S. surgeon general. Initially a pediatric nephrologist, she later switched to Public Health Service, after realizing she was too emotional to be a pediatrician. The Puerto Rican physician was also a UNICEF representative.

 46 Jacques Attali

Jacques Attali
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 1, 1943
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Algiers, Algeria

French economic and social theorist Jacques Attali was born in Algiers and later moved to Paris with his family. Apart from heading the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, he has established various non-profits and the EUREKA program. He has also penned books such as Labyrinth in Culture and Society.

 47 Michael Walzer

Michael Walzer
5
Famous As: Philosopher, Political scientist, University teacher, Sociologist
Birthdate: March 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City

 48 Kenneth Waltz

Kenneth Waltz
5
Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: June 8, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Died: May 12, 2013

 49 Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma

Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma
3
Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: July 28, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 26, 2020

Her activism and outspokenness had earned Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma the nickname Red Princess. Part of the Spanish royal family, she was educated at the Sorbonne. She later supported the Carlist movement and was a champion of women’s rights, too. She eventually died of COVID-19 at age 86.

 50 Larry Sabato

Larry Sabato
5
Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: August 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States