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 Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice.
Famous As: Former United States Secretary of State
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.

 2 Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Famous As: Former Diplomat, Political Scientist
Birthdate: March 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warsaw
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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 3 Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell.
Famous As: 19th Prime Minister of Canada
Birthdate: March 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Alberni

Canadian politician and Progressive Conservative leader Kim Campbell made headlines when she became the first woman to serve as the prime minister of Canada and remains the only woman to have achieved the feat. After quitting her doctoral studies, she studied law and joined the British Columbia Bar.

 4 Herbert Marcuse

Herbert Marcuse.
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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 5 Herbert Simon

Herbert Simon.
Famous As: Economist, Political scientist, sociologist, psychologist, and professor
Birthdate: June 15, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milwaukee
Died: February 9, 2001

 6 Aleksandr Dugin

Aleksandr Dugin
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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 7 Carl Schmitt

Carl Schmitt.
Famous As: Jurist, Geopolitician, Political Scientist
Birthdate: July 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Plettenberg, Prussia, German Empire
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.
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 8 Norman Finkelstein

Norman Finkelstein
Famous As: Political Scientist
Birthdate: December 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
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 9 Samuel P. Huntington

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

 10 Paul David Wellstone

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

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

 12 Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom
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 Jack Layton

Jack Layton
Famous As: Politician, University teacher, Political scientist
Birthdate: July 18, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Montreal
Died: August 22, 2011

Canadian politician John Layton was Member of the Canadian Parliament for Toronto—Danforth from 2004 till his death in 2011. He served as Leader of the New Democratic Party from January 2003 till his death and led the party to garner increased support in each election, in particular during the 2011 election following which Layton became Leader of the Opposition.   

 14 Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn
Famous As: Historian, playwright, philosopher, socialist thinker
Birthdate: August 24, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Died: January 27, 2010

Born into a Jewish working-class, immigrant family in Brooklyn, Howard Zinn was initially dragged into communism. He was part of the U.S. Army during World War II and later established himself as a historian. Of his many books, the most popular has been A People's History of the United States.

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 15 Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama
Famous As: Writer, Political scientist, Blogger, Economist
Birthdate: October 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago

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.

 16 William Barr

William Barr
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 Ralph Bunche

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

 18 Malcolm Kerr

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

 19 Fredric Jameson

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

 20 Dee Dee Myers

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

 21 Hans Morgenthau

Hans Morgenthau
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.

 22 Benedict Anderson

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

 23 Immanuel Wallerstein

Immanuel Wallerstein
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.

 24 George Friedman

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

 25 Julian Huxley

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

 26 Robert D. Putnam

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

 27 Lothrop Stoddard

Lothrop Stoddard
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.

 28 Paul Wolfowitz

Paul Wolfowitz
Famous As: Political scientist, Diplomat, Politician, Economist, Banker
Birthdate: December 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ithaca

 29 Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Hans-Hermann Hoppe
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.

 30 E. H. Carr

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

 31 Robert Kagan

Robert Kagan
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.

 32 Russell Kirk

Russell Kirk
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.

 33 Paul Simon (Politician)

Paul Simon (Politician).
Famous As: Senator from Illinois
Birthdate: November 29, 1928
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eugene
Died: December 9, 2003

 34 Eric Williams

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

 35 Walter Bagehot

Walter Bagehot
Famous As: Journalist, Economist, Political scientist, Writer, Sociologist
Birthdate: February 3, 1826
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Somerset
Died: March 24, 1877

Born to Stuckey's Bank MD Walter Bagehot was initially part of his father’s shipping and banking business. He later became the editor-in-chief of The Economist and married the publication’s founder James Wilson’s daughter. He penned path-breaking works such as Lombard Street and The English Constitution and co-established National Review.

 36 Robert A. Dahl

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

 37 Michael Oakeshott

Michael Oakeshott
Famous As: Philosopher, Political scientist, University teacher
Birthdate: December 11, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: England
Died: December 19, 1990

 38 Kenneth Waltz

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

 39 Georges Sorel

Georges Sorel
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.

 40 Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma

Princess María Teresa of Bourbon-Parma
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.

 41 Jacques Attali

Jacques Attali
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.

 42 William Graham Sumner

William Graham Sumner
Famous As: Anthropologist, Political scientist, Historian, Sociologist, Philosopher, University teacher
Birthdate: October 30, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey
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.

 43 Richard Hofstadter

Richard Hofstadter
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.

 44 Karl Haushofer

Karl Haushofer
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

 45 Carlos Alvarado Quesada

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

 46 Harold Lasswell

Harold Lasswell
Famous As: Political scientist, Scientist, Sociologist
Birthdate: February 13, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Illinois
Died: December 18, 1978

 47 Antonia Novello

Antonia Novello
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.

 48 Alain de Benoist

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

 49 Michael Walzer

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

 50 Ralf Dahrendorf

Ralf Dahrendorf
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: May 1, 1929
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: June 17, 2009
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