Political science is the study of politics. It involves the study of structure and process in government - or any equivalent system that attempts to assure safety, fairness, and closure across a broad range of risks and access to a broad range of commons for its human charges. Accordingly, political scientists may study social institutions such as corporations, unions, churches, or other organizations whose structure and process approach that of government in complexity and interconnection.
Political science seeks both to advance positive theses, by analyzing the politics, and to advance normative theses, by making specific policy recommendations. Political scientists measure the success of governance and specific policies by examining many factors, including stability, justice, material wealth, and peace. While historians look backward, seeking to explain the past, political scientists try to illuminate the politics of the present and predict those of the future.
The study of political science is complicated by the frequent involvement of political scientists in the political process, since their teachings often provide the frameworks within which other commentators, such as journalists, special interest groups, politicians, and the electorate analyze issues and select options. Political scientists may serve as advisors to specific politicians, or even run for office as politicians themselves.
In the United States, political scientists look at a variety of data including elections, public opinion (on matters ranging from Social Security reform to foreign policy), institutional roles (how the U.S. Congress acts, where congressional power gravitates, how and when the Supreme Court acts, or does not act, etc.).