Political Scientists

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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.
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 1 
Karl Marx
(Philosopher & Economist - Famous for His Theory of 'Marxism' )
Karl Marx
10
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
(66th United States Secretary of State (2005-09))
Condoleezza Rice
10
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
(American Lawyer, Public Policy Advocate & Sister of 49th Vice President of United States, Kamala Harris)
Maya Harris
8
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 
Madeleine Albright
(64th United States Secretary of State (1997 - 2001))
Madeleine Albright
6
Birthdate: May 15, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Smíchov, Prague, Czechia
Died: March 23, 2022
Madeleine Albright served as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001, under Bill Clinton, and was the first woman to hold the post. The Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee also chaired the Albright Stonebridge Group and taught at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
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 5 
Zbigniew Brzezinski
(9th United States National Security Advisor)
Zbigniew Brzezinski
6
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.
 6 
Alexis de Tocqueville
(Historian Known for His Works 'Democracy in America' & 'The Old Regime' & 'The Revolution')
Alexis de Tocqueville
4
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 Simon
(Political scientist)
Herbert Simon
6
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.

Samuel P. Huntington
6
Birthdate: April 18, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 24, 2008
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 9 
Norman Finkelstein
(Political Scientist)
Norman Finkelstein
6
Birthdate: December 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 10 
Elinor Ostrom
(Economist, Political scientist, University teacher)
Elinor Ostrom
6
Birthdate: August 7, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Died: June 12, 2012
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 11 
Cass Sunstein
11
Birthdate: September 21, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Concord, Massachusetts, United States
 12 
Ralph Bunche
(Political Scientist)
Ralph Bunche
3
Birthdate: August 7, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, United States
Died: December 9, 1971
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 13 
Paul David Wellstone
(United States Senator)
Paul David Wellstone
8
Birthdate: July 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: October 25, 2002
 14 
Aleksandr Dugin
6
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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 15 
Dee Dee Myers
(Political scientist)
Dee Dee Myers
5
Birthdate: September 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: North Kingstown, Rhode Island North Kingstown, Rhode Island, U.S.
 16 
Fredric Jameson
(Essayist, Political scientist, Writer, Professor, Literary critic, Sociologist, Journalist)
Fredric Jameson
3
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.

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 17 
William Barr
(Politician)
William Barr
8
Birthdate: May 23, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York (state) New York, U.S.
 18 
Francis Fukuyama
(Political Scientist and Best Known as the Author of ‘The End of History and the Last Man')
Francis Fukuyama
6
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.

 19 
Hans Morgenthau
(Judge, Political scientist, Writer, Philosopher, University teacher)
Hans Morgenthau
3
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.

 20 
George Friedman
(Political Scientist)
George Friedman
3
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.

 21 
Carl Schmitt
(German Jurist, Political theorist and Prominent Member of the Nazi Party)
Carl Schmitt
4
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.
 22 
Michael Parenti
(Political scientist, Historian)
Michael Parenti
3
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.

 23 
Julian Huxley
(Biologist)
Julian Huxley
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1887
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 14, 1975
 24 
Paul Wolfowitz
(10th President of the World Bank Group (2005 - 2007))
Paul Wolfowitz
6
Birthdate: December 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Malcolm Kerr
6
Birthdate: October 8, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Beirut
Died: January 18, 1984
 26 
Robert Kagan
(American Neoconservative Scholar and Critic of U.S. Foreign Policy)
Robert Kagan
5
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 
Immanuel Wallerstein
(Economist, Geopolitician, Economic historian, Historian, Political scientist, Writer, Sociologist, University teacher)
Immanuel Wallerstein
5
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.

 28 
E. H. Carr
(Historian, Journalist, Diplomat, Writer, Political scientist, Professor)
E. H. Carr
3
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 
Russell Kirk
(Political scientist, Philosopher, Literary critic, Historian, Novelist, Writer, Science fiction writer, Journalist)
Russell Kirk
5
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.

 30 
Lothrop Stoddard
(Anthropologist, Political scientist, Historian, Author, Journalist, Opinion journalist)
Lothrop Stoddard
5
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 
Eric Williams
(Politician)
Eric Williams
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1911
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Died: March 29, 1981
 32 
Michael Oakeshott
(Former philosopher and political theorist who was known as one of the 20th century's most conservative thinkers)
Michael Oakeshott
3
Birthdate: December 11, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chelsfield, London, England, United Kingdom
Died: December 19, 1990
 33 
Robert A. Dahl
(Political scientist)
Robert A. Dahl
5
Birthdate: December 17, 1915
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inwood, Iowa Inwood, Iowa, United States U.S.
Died: February 5, 2014
 34 
Benedict Anderson
(Political scientist)
Benedict Anderson
3
Birthdate: August 26, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kunming
Died: December 13, 2015
 35 
Richard Hofstadter
(Historian, Political scientist, Writer, University teacher)
Richard Hofstadter
5
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.

 36 
Robert D. Putnam
(Political Scientist)
Robert D. Putnam
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States
 37 
Harold Lasswell
(Political scientist)
Harold Lasswell
5
Birthdate: February 13, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Donnellson, Illinois, United States
Died: December 18, 1978
 38 
William Graham Sumner
(Anthropologist, Political scientist, Writer)
William Graham Sumner
3
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.

 39 
Alain de Benoist
(Journalist)
Alain de Benoist
3
Birthdate: December 11, 1943
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tours, Indre-et-Loire, France
 40 
Karl Haushofer
(Geopolitician, Political scientist, Educationist, Officer, University teacher, Non-fiction writer)
Karl Haushofer
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1869
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Munich
Died: March 10, 1946
 41 
Carlos Alvarado Quesada
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San José, Costa Rica
 42 
Antonia Novello
(The First Woman and First Hispanic to Serve as Surgeon General of the United States)
Antonia Novello
3
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.

 43 
Kenneth Waltz
(Political Scientist)
Kenneth Waltz
5
Birthdate: June 8, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Died: May 12, 2013
 44 
Larry Sabato
(Political Scientist)
Larry Sabato
5
Birthdate: August 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Norfolk, Virginia, United States
 45 
Charles Tilly
(Historian, Political scientist, Sociologist, University teacher)
Charles Tilly
5
Birthdate: May 27, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lombard
Died: April 29, 2008

Hailed by many as the founding father of 21st-century sociology, Charles Tilly was not only a revered sociologist, but also an influential political scientist and historian. Considered a major figure in the development of historical sociology, he published numerous books, monographs and scholarly articles, providing an insight into urban sociology, European nation-state formation, democracy, social movements, labor, and categorical inequalities

 46 
Chantal Mouffe
(Belgian Post-Marxist Political Theorist, Professor, and Author)
Chantal Mouffe
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Charleroi, Belgium

Belgian political theorist and author Chantal Mouffe has also been a professor at the University of Westminster and been a visiting faculty at various prestigious institutes, such as Harvard and Cornell. She is known for her prominent criticism of the idea of deliberative democracy and belongs to the post-Marxist school of contemporary philosophy.

 47 
Jan Egeland
(Norwegian Diplomat, Political Scientist and Former State Secretary in the 'Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs')
Jan Egeland
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stavanger, Norway

Jan Egeland is a Norwegian political scientist, diplomat, humanitarian leader, and politician. Since 2013, he has been serving as the secretary general of a humanitarian, non-governmental organization called the Norwegian Refugee Council. In 2006, Egeland was included in Time's list of 100 people who shaped our world. Egeland is a recipient of Peer Gynt Prize and the Four Freedoms Award.   

 48 
Robert Keohane
4
Birthdate: October 3, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
 49 
Raul Hilberg
(Political Scientist & Historian, Widely Considered to Be the Preeminent Scholar on 'The Holocaust')
Raul Hilberg
4
Birthdate: June 2, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 4, 2007

An Austrian refugee, Raul Hilberg escaped the Nazi regime and moved to the U.S. with his family. He later became a pioneer of Holocaust research. He is perhaps best remembered for his three-volume The Destruction of the European Jews. He was also part of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial council.

 50 
Friedrich Ratzel
(Biologist, Geopolitician, Geographer, Zoologist, Political scientist, University teacher)
Friedrich Ratzel
2
Birthdate: August 30, 1844
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Karlsruhe
Died: August 9, 1904

Friedrich Ratzel was a German ethnographer and geographer. He was the first person to use the term Lebensraum, which would later become an important and popular word among the National Socialists. Also an influential writer, Friedrich Ratzel's works served as a justification for imperial expansion.